Kaizer Chiefs could make a late charge for the Premiership with reports emerging from Tanzania that the Phefeni side has bagged the services of hot-shot striker Emmanuel Okwi for a reported fee of R1.5-m.
Lying sixth on the table with nine points behind leaders Bidvest Wits, Chiefs appears to have reached an agreement with Okwi’s team – Simba FC – after their initial offer was allegedly rejected for the striker who turned 26 years on Christmas Day.
It seems like Chiefs can no longer stomach the embarrassment and humiliation of losing three successive matches to their bitter rivals Orlando Pirates and have gone for a man whose prowess in front of goals is legendary. And no one knows Okwi better than Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic who relied on the striker for goals when Uganda qualified for the 2017 AFCON after an absence on 39 years.
Okwi has also played a key role in assisting the Tanzanian giants to qualify for the group stages of the African Champions League for the first time in 15 years with a glut of goals throughout a successful campaign that saw them eliminate Mbabane Swallows of Swaziland and Zambian side Nkana.
Although the two clubs have reportedly reached an agreement and the deal has allegedly been finalized, it has not been officially announced as both clubs are dealing with finer details before the Ugandan international becomes the first January open window signing of the Amakhosi who have made a statement of intent with the signing.
Okwi broke into prominence in 2010 when he joined Simba from SC Villa for a reported fee of US40 000 and was three years later sold to Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia. But the deal collapsed under controversial circumstances in only a few months when the Tunisian allegedly failed to meet some of their contractual obligations.
The Football Association of Uganda (FUFA) then issued him with a temporary license to play for Villa. The same year he crossed the border to join Young Africans before crossing the floor to join their bitter rivals Simba.
In 2015 Okwi departed for the Scandinavia where he joined Danish side Sonderjysk EFobold on a five-year deal. But he returned after two years and rejoined Villa SC. But last year returned to Simba again where he scored a massive 20 goals to propel them to the summit of Tanzanian football.
Okwi, voted Tanzanian Premier League Footballer of the Month for October, is expected to team-up with compatriot Godfrey Walusimbi in the Kaizer Chiefs colors should the deal materialize.