He’s been linked to almost a dozen clubs since the end of last season following his team’s relegation to the Norwegian second division, but with the European transfer door closing tomorrow midnight, Olivier Karekezi’s future remains vague.
Yet, what remains an overriding concern to many is that the player keeps giving less convincing reasoning for his continued misfortunes in his bid to find a new club. He says this and his club says that, leaving people wondering who’s saying the truth.
Since July, the Rwandan national team captain has been linked to Al Ahly (Egypt), Nottingham Forest (England), Notts County (England) and now we hear last season’s Uefa Cup (now Europa Cup) beaten finalists Werder Bremen (Germany) are interest. Some unreliable sources have even mentioned Bayern Munich as another possible destination for the 26-year-old striker!
With respect to Karekezi’s talent and potential to play that the highest level but to mention him and Bayern Munich is going overboard.
Even with Werder Bremen, it’s a class to high for the former APR star whose form over the last 12 months or so has left a lot to be desired.
About three weeks ago before Karekezi left for trials at Notts County, I wrote in these pages doubting his chances of being signed by the ambitious League Two club (the equivalent of fourth division), and I’m ‘glad’ to announce that I wasn’t only right but also spot on [read New Times of Saturday, August 28] lead story on the back page with the title, ‘Notts County FC rejects Karekezi’.
Now, sincerely how many expect two of Germany’s giants [Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich], two clubs challenging for Europe’s top honours to sign a player, who was rejected by a fourth division club?
A player, who if he fails to find a new club in the next 48 hours will play his football this season in the Norwegian second division!
With the $2 million (Rwf1.3 Billions) price tag that HamKam has put on Karekezi, not very many serious European clubs would jump at the opportunity to sign the Amavubi Stars skipper—this automatically rules out any local admirers.
Therefore, if nothing special pulls off in the last hours of the transfer door, the former APR striker will be on next flight back to Ham Kam.
The Norwegian club paid over the odds to sign Karekezi from Swedish first division side Helsingborgs IF in January 2008, so to let him go now, they would need to recuperate at least more than half of what they paid.
Hamarkameratene or HamKam were promoted to the Norwegian Premier League in 2007.
No professional footballer would want to have the word relegation on his CV; unfortunately our well liked national team skipper has it.
Sorry to say this but Karekezi has not looked good enough over the past 12 months to attract interest from other clubs, a situation that has forced him not say the truth whenever guys in the local media as him about his future.
In a space of less than two years, Karekezi has linked himself [as far as the local media is concerned] to several established clubs including Norwegian giants Rosenburg FC, Germany side Energie Cottbus, Egyptian giants Al Ahly and in just in the last two months English side Nottingham Forest, Notts County and now Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich yet none of these club has come up with any officials comment regarding the Rwandan international.
He’s never come up with any concrete evidence to support his claims, and when his current club [HamKam] come up with anything, it’s always contrary to what the players says in the Rwandan media, something that raises suspicion over what he says—it’s hard to tell whether he’s saying the truth or simply taking for granted the local media and those who depend on it for information.
I know this is not sound music to the ear to some people but Karekezi is acting like some APR officials, who have taken it upon themselves to take the local media for granted on the issue of Haruna Niyonzima and his reported link to Germany side Hertha Berlin.
APR Secretary General Adolphe Kalisa has been quoted on more than one occasion confirming that the Hertha Berlin are indeed interested in Rwanda U-20 national team captain yet in actual sense, it’s Swiss club FC Bern, who were interest and even took the player on trials.
The player came back from Switzerland on Thursday having ‘passed’ the tests.
Now I hear it’s left to FC Bern and APR to agree the terms, but being part of the media that is taken for grated every the other day by the same people, who are supposed to be partners in this business of ours, one can only believe this after a deal has been struck.