Eddie Chikamhi, Harare Bureau
ZIMBABWE international Marvelous Nakamba is up in arms with his Belgian football employers at Club Brugge after the midfielder refused to return to the club to push for an exit to either England or Germany.
Nakamba had been given an extended holiday by his club following the tour of duty with Zimbabwe at the AFCON tournament in Egypt recently.
He was expected to join the rest of the squad yesterday but the 25-year-old, who feels unwanted at the club and had reportedly made his position known through his handlers, was conspicuous by his absence yesterday.
According to reports from Belgium, Nakamba feels the club has disrespected him by refusing an offer of €10 million from English side Aston Villa and have also been brushing aside enquiries by German Bundesliga side FC Koln.
Nakamba, who is currently holed up in Paris, France, wants to leave because he barely had any games last season under Croatian coach Ivan Leko.
The coach, however, has since parted ways with the club and Club Brugge have indicated they would want to cash in on the player’s growing reputation in Europe, which has also seen him being compared to French World Cup winner N’Golo Kante in some quarters.
English Premier League club Aston Villa reportedly have already tabled their offer for the Zimbabwean, but Brugge have turned it down insisting the player has to leave when they find the right deal.
And now Nakamba wants to do everything to get his transfer and move to a new environment where he hopes to get game time.
“Author of a very good first season in Bruges, Marvelous Nakamba, experienced some difficulties last season.
“Regularly on the bench, the Zimbabwean international had, according to our information, obtained the agreement of Club Brugge to be able to leave the club this summer for a good transfer.
“And proposals (from FC Koln and Aston Villa) arrived on the table of the leaders of Club Brugge, who, however, declined offers. And especially that emanating from Aston Villa for an amount of 10 million pounds.
“The 25-year-old midfielder took the refusal on the part of the club who had promised him that he could leave Brugge in case of a good offer and he did not show up on Monday (yesterday) morning at the club, where he was expected after the leave he enjoyed following the AFCON.
“Marvelous Nakamba does not intend to go back and now wants the situation to be resolved and leave the Brugge FC two years after joining from Vitesse.
“On the Brugge’s side, however, it is estimated that the offers received did not meet expectations. Nakamba would not be the only one angry by this situation since the leaders of Aston Villa – where Brugge had just sold Wesley – would also be annoyed by this flip-flop of the leaders of Brugge.
“In addition to having lost the dialogue with Marvelous Nakamba, Brugge could also lose money in this case if a solution does not intervene quickly,” read a report from Belgium.
Nakamba has a contract with Club Brugge which runs until 2021. He joined the club from Vitesse in 2017 and won the league title in his first season.
The defensive midfielder made 23 appearances for the club, of which 18 in the league, and also had a feel of the UEFA Champions League.
According to the Belgian news site Nieuwsblad, Club Brugge have indicated Nakamba is one of their best players and will only entertain negotiations “if there are very large amounts of money” involved.
Brazilian Wesley Moraes was recently sold to Aston Villa from Club Brugge for a club record 22 million pounds while centreback Stefano Demswil was sold for a reported €7million to Bologna from Club Brugge.
“Initially, the English Championship runners-up thought of 8 million for Nakamba, when Bundesliga FC Köln showed interest, but apparently increased his price tag for the midfielder, who came over from Vitesse in 2017,” reported Nieuwsblad.
Meanwhile, another Zimbabwean Tendayi Darikwa will stay longer at his English Championship side Nottingham Forest after the club rejected an approach from Wigan.
The Reds Championship rivals had shown interest in the defender but they are understood to have submitted a “low” offer for the Zimbabwe international.
The 27-year-old is one of the senior players currently on pre-season tour with the side in Greece, where they play sister club Olympiacos today.
Darikwa is hoping for improved fortunes under new coach Sabri Lamouchi who replaced Martin O’Neill recently.
“Nottingham Forest are a massive club. We know that. As a club we have been underachieving for too long.
“The owners took it upon themselves to change the manager and that will hopefully work. But as players we have to do our best. It is down to us to make sure that we do enough ourselves this season,” Darikwa told the Nottingham Post yesterday.
Darikwa has made 59 starts and four substitute appearances for the Reds, since joining from Burnley almost two years ago. He has scored one goal, in a 5-1 defeat at Chelsea, in the EFL Cup in 2017.