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John Avire: Tanta SC have four days to negotiate with Sofapaka – Kalekwa

11:24 EAT 13/09/2019
John Avire of Sofapaka
The Batoto ba Mungu president says the ball is now in the court of the Egyptian club for the transfer of the Harambee Stars striker

Sofapaka president Elly Kalekwa has maintained striker John Avire will remain his player if Tanta SC do not negotiate for his transfer in the next four days.

The Egyptian side had announced the signing of the Harambee Stars player last August, a move which was dismissed by Kalekwa.

On Thursday, Tanta officially wrote to Sofapaka seeking for the services of the player, but Kalekwa now says they have to table an offer soon or else the player will return home to play for his side.

“Football is business and nothing will change in regards to Avire transfer,” Kalekwa told Goal on Friday.

“Tanta have realised they made a mistake by announcing the signing of [Avire] even before engaging Sofapaka. The club have now written to us seeking for the services of the player and we are ready to negotiate with them.

“What they [Tanta] did was to ask if they can sign the player [Avire] but have not told us how much they want to pay for his services. Avire belongs to Sofapaka so we don’t have any rush to let him go, and if they are now keen to sign the player they should open negotiations with us.

“It is not Sofapaka to follow Tanta, it is vice versa. They must reach out to us explain what they want to pay and if we reach an agreement then, we are ready to let the player go because it will also be a good move for the player.”

With the Egyptian transfer window set to close on Monday, Kalekwa says they have only four days to conclude negotiations.

“If they don’t do it in the remaining four days, then Avire will return home and play for us in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL),” Kalekwa continued.

“What I can assure you is [Avire] will never play anywhere not even in Egypt unless we give him a release letter. He is our player and anyone talking to him must also engage us.

“We have already informed Fifa on the issue and they are waiting to see what Tanta will do. They better talk to us now or else the player will return home [to Kenya].”

The attacker has been at the centre of a controversy alongside former Football Kenya Federation (FKF) CEO Robert Muthomi, who allegedly engineered the move and was later suspended by the federation pending investigations.

Avire was signed by Batoto ba Mungu in late 2018 from relegated Mount Kenya United, and signed a contract that is set to expire in June 2020.

He was among the Kenya players who took part in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt in June and July.