APR’s Haruna Niyonzima, Jean Baptista Mugiraneza and Elias Uzamukunda have been linked with a move to French Ligue 1 club Stade Rennes F.C, Times Sport has learnt.
According to a reliable source, who preferred anonymity, the trio has been contacted by Rennes officials through their club (APR) and are set to depart for France later this month or early March.
“Rennes scouts were in Rwanda during the African Youth Championship and they showed interest in the trio. They (trio) would be joining the French side for trials soon,” the source said.
When contacted APR club president Brig. Gen. Alex Kagame rubbished the move saying, “Those are rumours but European club officials were in Rwanda during the AYC and were interested in some players but nothing official.”
“Some Belgium officials were interested in some of our (APR) players and we are still in contacts but if anything emerges, we will inform you,” Kagame said, adding that a move by a European club for a Rwandan player would be beneficial not only for the military side but for the entire nation.
Spanish agent Gonzalo Fernandez is one of the several European scouts who showed particular interest in Rwandan players for professional moves.
During his stay in Kigali, Fernandez said that his visit was aimed at accessing potential U-20 players whom he can connect to Spanish and South American clubs.
U-20 skipper Niyonzima, Mugiraneza and Uzamukunda were outstanding in the African Youth Championship though their services didn’t earn Rwanda a place in semi-finals which would have enabled Rwanda to qualify for her maiden Fifa World Youth Championship.
Rwanda finished third in Group A with four points after winning 2-1 against Mal, played a one-all draw against Cameroon and lost 2-0 to Ghana.
If the trio manages to successful pass trials at Stade Rennais, they will join another Rwandan youth defensive player Gilbert Manier Muvunyi who features in Rennais’ youth and reserve side.
Stade Rennes is placed fifth with 38 points, five points behind leaders Lyon on the French Ligue 1 table.