Former Nigerian national team coach Stephen Keshi has opened talks with Tanzania club Azam. The club announced themselves that they had reached out to the former Nigerian captain to take over from Cameroonian trainer, Joseph Omog, who was sacked by the club on Monday.
Even though Keshi is still locked in contract talks with the Nigeria Football Federation, the Dar es Salaam-based team are hopeful of luring him into club football as they continue their campaign in the 2015 CAF Champions League.
Azam’s General Secretary Idrissa Nassoro told Goal Tanzania that they were also checking out other coaches apart from Keshi and will eventually settle for the one that suits them best. Azam is being handled now by George Nsimbe Wave but are in search of a substantive manager to take over with Nsimbe as his assistant.
He said, “We continue to have talks with coaches from different parts of the world, but there is a greater chance of Nigerian Stephen Keshi taking over Joseph Omog’s place because negotiations between us and him are going well, and his background is something that has attracted us.”
Keshi has been linked with jobs outside Nigeria since last year even while he still had a contract with the NFF. The coach has said several times that he had several offers from other teams awaiting him. Recently, he was in the final shortlist of coaches for the Burkina Faso national team but lost out. He was previously mentioned with the South African national team job also but this is the first time a club side rather than a national team would be linked to him.
The news from Tanzania comes as The PUNCH learnt that Keshi has reportedly been given Friday (today) as the deadline to respond to the contract offer extended to him by the NFF. The NFF General Secretary did not respond to our question on the matter on Thursday and another official of the federation could not confirm the exact deadline given to the former Togo coach.
“I certainly cannot give a straight answer on that. I am not aware if any deadline has been given to him or the exact date for that. I will need to cross check that information before I can get back to you,” he said.
Keshi is said to be in the United States now, having failed to agree to the terms and conditions laid out to him by the NFF. He won the 2013 Africa Nations Cup with the Super Eagles but failed to qualify for the 2015 edition with the same team.