‘Exiled’ Michael Olunga set for return to Europe

Chinese Super League side Guizhou Zhicheng striker Michael Olunga is set for a return to Europe, Nation Sport understands.

The Kenyan international has barely stayed for half a season in China since making his Sh487 million move to Asia from Swedish outfit Djurgardens IF in January.

The 23-year-old endured difficulties in securing a work permit that saw him miss five games at the beginning of the season.

Until the 17th round in the league, the former Gor Mahia star has only featured in seven games, scoring two goals.

His future at the club hangs in the balance after the arrival of Spanish duo Mario Suarez and Ruben Castro from Watford (England) and La Liga side Real Betis respectively. Pressure is also mounting on Chinese football chiefs to change the foreign quota rule.

The clubs can sign five foreigners but only three can start at any given time. The rule was passed to cut down the number of foreign players as the country targets to grow more local talent to emerge as a football powerhouse.

OLUNGA TRAINING WITH RESERVES

The Gregorio Manzano-coached side has already struck out Olunga and Egyptian Aly Ghazal from the 40-man first team list and relegated them to the reserve squad.

“It’s true we are going to secure a loan move for him soon. The loan deal will be in Europe. We are getting closer to agreeing with Guizhou over the terms,” one of the player’s representatives, who sought anonymity as he’s not allowed to speak to the media, told Nation Sport on Friday.

Reports have linked the Harambee Stars striker to the French Ligue 1, Belgian First Division A and a number of leagues within West Europe.

“Guizhou said no to a French club. We will see very soon but it could be a surprise,” added the Global Soccer Management’s partner, the company that handles the player.

The club sits 11th on the 16-team table with 18 points from 17 games.

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