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banner Monday, 4 June, 2001, 17:20 GMT 18:20 UK
Africans in demand in Germany
Bundesliga veteran Thiam has been snapped up on a free transfer by Bayern Munich
Bundesliga veteran Thiam has been snapped up on a free transfer by Bayern Munich
The end of the German league season has signalled a furious round of buying as teams already prepare their squads for the next campaign, and African footballers have been in high demand.

Nigerian striker Victor Agali and Guinea's Pablo Thiam are the two high-profile African movers in the European summer, completing long-arranged transfers to the top two clubs in the country.

Midfielder Thiam, 27, moves from VfB Stuttgart to European champions Bayern Munich while Agali has left Hansa Rostock for Schalke, the team who finished runners-up on a dramatic last day of the Bundesliga season last month.

The move means both will play in next year's Uefa Champions League.

Akwuegbu could move to Kaiserslautern
Akwuegbu could move to Kaiserslautern
The 22-year-old Agali, who debuted for the Super Eagles in January, says he believes he will finish his career in Germany. "I fit in here and the Bundesliga has been good to me," he said. Agali cost the Cup winners around £2.5m, a new club record.

Compatriot Benedict Akwuegbu, scorer of Saturday's goal against Madagascar in the African Nations Cup qualifiers, could be headed to Kaiserslautern, who reached the Uefa Cup semi-finals last month.

Turks want Akpoborie

The 26-year-old Akwuegbu, currently with Grazer AK of Austria, has already had a trial with the club.

Compatriot Jonathan Akpoborie, suspended by VfL Wolfsburg for allegedly owning a 'slave ship' playing the coast of west Africa, is on the shopping list of controversial coach Christoph Daum, who wants to take him to Besiktas in Turkey.

jonathan akpoborie
Akpoborie is wanted by Besiktas
Guinea's 19-year-old Souleymane Youla will go to Borussia Moenchengladbach, with his transfer from Lokeren in Belgium, "as good as confirmed" according to coach Hans Meyer.

Borussia won promotion back to the Bundesliga and see the Guinea international as key to their goalscoring hopes next season.

Youla had been part of Anderlecht's Belgian league-winning side last month but was on loan from Lokeren. Anderlecht had until April 1 to exercise an option to buy the player but did not take up the opportunity. Borussia have offered Youla a contract until 2004

Delron Buckley of relegated Bochum is being sought by Bayer Leverkusen with new coach Klaus Toppmöller making it clear he wants the South African international in his squad next year.

Buckley debate

Toppmöller has been appointed as the club's new coach to replace Berti Vogts, fired at the end of a season which saw the club finish fourth in the Bundesliga and qualify for the Champions League.

"I've heard he doesn't want to stay at Bochum and I want him for next season," he told the German magazine 'Kicker'.

delron buckley
Leverkusen want to exploit Buckley's great potential
"But he has not had a good season, keeps going off to play for South Africa and doesn't live like a professional footballer," the magazine posed in a follow-up question to Toppmöller.

"I know the problem and naturally he does do a few dumb things, but he is only 23-years-old. What do you expect?" was Toppmöller's response.

"He has the qualities of a great striker. That's why I called him mini-Ronaldo when I first coached him, but his progress has stalled. I know him well, like my own son," added the new Leverkusen boss.

Bochum coach Bernard Dietz says he is not sure what will happen with Buckley.

Biggest mystery

"He is the biggest mystery to me. He is a clever player and can do so much but only plays at about 30 per cent of his capacity. He is a massive player but a little mixed up."

On a possible move to Leverkusen, Dietz said: "It could happen. For me Buckley is a diamond and I don't want to lose him. But if he goes, it won't be for any small change."


Buckley is a diamond and I don't want to lose him. But if he goes, it won't be for any small change
  Bernard Dietz, Bochum
Leverkusen have also said they will keep Pascal Karibe Ojigwe, despite a lean year for the occasional Nigerian international.

Borussia Dortmund have taken Morocco's Ahmed Reda Madouni on a free transfer from Montpellier in France.

Josephus Yenay, who returned to the Liberian national team at the weekend for the Nations Cup qualifier against South Africa, has not been offered a contract at Eintracht Braunschweig after trials with the third division club.

Ajax Cape Town in South Africa have also turned down an offer to look at the Liberian forward, who only played for the first half in Monrovia on Sunday.

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30 May 01 |  Africa
Asamoah nets on Germany debut
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