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January’s African football news in brief


January’s African football news in brief

Senegalese defender Mohamed Kane played in the qualifiers for the 2018 African Nations ChampionshipMonday 27 January:Senegalese defender Mohamed Kane has joined third-tier side Bastia-Borgo on a permanent deal from French Ligue 1 side Metz.The 19-year-old had been on loan at Bastia-Borgo since the start of the season and has made nine starts for the Corsican…

January’s African football news in brief
Senegalese defender Mohamed Kane played in the qualifiers for the 2018 African Nations Championship

Monday 27 January:

Senegalese defender Mohamed Kane has joined third-tier side Bastia-Borgo on a permanent deal from French Ligue 1 side Metz.

The 19-year-old had been on loan at Bastia-Borgo since the start of the season and has made nine starts for the Corsican club this season.

Kane joined Metz in January 2018 from Senegal’s Generation Foot and then spent time on loan at Belgian clubs Tubize and Seraing.

During his time at Generation Foot he played three times for Senegal’s team of locally based-players including a 5-4 aggregate loss to Guinea in the qualifiers for the 2018 African Nations Championship.

Sunday 26 January:

Tunisian defender Syam Ben Youssef has joined Turkish top flight club Denizlispor from rivals Kasimpasa for the remainder of the season.

The 30-year-old has already featured 15 times in the Turkish Super Lig this season for Kasimpasa, netting one goal.

The France-born player started his professional career with French club Bastia and went on to play for Caen, the African champions Esperance, English outfit Leyton Orient and Romanian side Astra Giurgiu before moving to Turkey in July 2017.

Ben Youssef has made 48 appearances for Tunisia so far including his matches at both the 2015 and 2017 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon respectively as well as at the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia. (By Mohamed Fajah Barrie)

Tunisia’s Bassem Srarfi spent three years in France playing for Nice

Saturday 25 January:

Tunisia international Bassem Srarfi has moved to Belgian top flight team Zulte Waregem until June 2023 from French Ligue 1 club Nice.

«I want to show my qualities to the fans as we will soon be competing for a place in the cup final, and playing in the league,» the 22-year-old attacking midfielder told the Zulte Waregem website.

He spent three years at Nice making 69 appearances across all competitions including three league appearances this season.

Srarfi started his professional career with Tunisian side Club Africain before moving to France in early 2017.

He has been capped 15 times so far by Tunisia including appearances for the Carthage Eagles at both the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia and last year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. (By Mohamed Fajah Barrie)

Friday 24 January:

Oussama Haddadi played in all of Tunisia’s matches at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations

Tunisia’s Oussama Haddadi has joined Turkish Super Lig side Kasimpasa on a one-and-a-half-year loan deal.

The 27-year-old left-back has signed from Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ettifaq.

Before his move to Saudi Arabia in May last year he had spent two-and-a-half seasons at French club Dijon.

Haddadi, who began his career at Tunisia’s Club Africain, has 24 caps for the Carthage Eagles and played in all their games at last year’s Africa Cup of Nations as they finished fourth.

He was also part of the Tunisia squad at the 2018 World Cup and started in their 2-1 win over Panama.

Thursday 23 January:

Gambia’s Musa Barrow has been unveiled by Italian club Bologna, who he has joined on loan from Serie A rivals Atalanta.

The 21-year-old has signed an 18-month loan deal with an option to make the the move a permanent one.

«I decided to come to Bologna in search of more consistency,» said Barrow.

«I’m convinced that I can do well here.I can play anywhere in attack.»

Barrow joined Atalanta reserves in 2016 from boyhood Gambian club Hawks and went on hit 19 goals in 15 appearances earning him a call to the first team in 2018.

He has scored four times in 40 appearances for Atalanta and has represented his country seven times so far. (By Momodou Bah)

Another Gambia international on the move is Assan Ceesay as he joins German Bundesliga 2 outfit VFL Osnabruck on loan from Swiss club FC Zurich.

The 25-year-old has signed on loan until the end of the season as sixth-placed VFL Osnabruck bid for promotion.

«With his speed, explosive pace and ability to cover a lot ground, Assan Ceesay fits the profile of he kind of reinforcements we need going forward,» the club’s sporting director, Benjamin Schmedes, said.

«His aerial game also not only offers us more options offensively but in open play as well.»

Ceesay has played a total of 45 competitive games scoring six times with three assists for FC Zürich since joining them from FC Lugano in August 2018.

He has eight goals for his country and he was on target in their historic 3-1 Africa Cup of Nations win away to Angola in November. (By Momodou Bah)

Mauritania international Aly Abeid has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with French Ligue 2 side Valenciennes.

The 22-year-old defender joins from Spanish La Liga’s Levante.

He spent last season on loan at second-tier Alcorcon in Spain and played 12 times for them.

Abeid has 33 international caps for Mauritania and played in all three of their matches at last year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Benjamin Moukandjo captained Cameroon to success in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon

Also joining Valenciennes is former Cameroon captain Benjamin Moukandjo, who signed just hours after leaving French Ligue 2 rivals Lens by mutual consent.

The 31-year-old joins on a short-term deal until the end of the season.

He had joined Lens last September after leaving Chinese Super League (CSL) club Jiangsu Suning in the February.

He managed just four appearances in all competitions and scored once since his arrival at Lens.

Moukandjo, who captained Cameroon to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations title in Gabon, retired from international football in September 2018 with 55 caps.

Wednesday 22 January:

Moroccan midfielder Yassin Ayoub has joined Greek side Panathinaikos on a three-and-a-half-year deal from Dutch club Feyenoord.

The 25-year-old played 18 matches for Feyenoord last season after joining from Dutch rivals Utrecht and then again five times this season.

Ayoub played for the Netherlands at several youth levels before committing to Morocco, where he was born.

He missed out on playing at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and was not part of the Morocco squad at last year’s Africa Cup of Nations.

He joins his international team-mate Anuar Tuhami at Panathinaikos, after he joined them earlier in January. (By Jalal Bounouar)

Egyptian side Ismaily have announced the signing of Tunisia international Fakheredine Ben Youssef on a free transfer.

The 28-year-old was a free agent after his contract with Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ettifaq was terminated by mutual consent earlier in January.

The forward has 47 international caps and was part of the Carthage Eagles squad at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where he scored in the 2-1 win over Panama. (By Tarek Talaat)

French Ligue 1 side Nimes have signed Senegal under-20 striker Moussa Kone from German second-tier side club Dynamo Dresden.

The 23-year-old has joined the club, who are second bottom of Ligue 1, on a two-and-a-half-year deal.

Morocco international Walid Azaro has won two Egyptian league titles with Al Ahly

Morocco striker Walid Azaro has joined Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ettifaq on a six-month loan from Egyptian champions Al Ahly.

The 24-year-old rejected a move to Europe when he signed for Al Ahly in June 2017 from Difaa El Jadida.

Since arriving at Al Ahly he has helped them win back-to-back league titles.

He was part of Morocco’s initial squad for the 2018 World Cup but did not make it to the final 23-man squad for Russia. (By Mohamed Fajah Barrie)

Tuesday 21 January:

Nigeria international Uche Agbo has dropped down to the Spanish second-tier with Deportivo La Coruna after cutting short his loan spell at Portuguese club SC Braga.

The 24-year-old defender cum midfielder joins the struggling side from parent club Standard Liège in Belgium until the end of the season, with an option to sign a permanent deal.

Agbo, who had previously played for Nigeria at the 2013 Under-20 World Cup, made his senior debut for the Super Eagles against Togo in June 2017. (By Oluwashina Okeleji)

DR Congo international Paul-Jose Mpoku has left Belgian club Standard Liege to join the United Arab Emirates top-flight side Al-Wahda.

The 27-year-old, who began his career on the books of English side Tottenham Hotspur, has signed a year-and-a-half deal with the Abu Dhabi-based side.

Mpoku, who played on loan at English side Leyton Orient for the 2010-11 season, enjoyed two spells with Standard Liege firstly from 2011 and 2015 and then between 2017 and January 2020

He has scored six goals in 19 appearances for DR Congo and was part of their squad at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Cameroon forward Karl Toko Ekambi won the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations

Cameroon forward Karl Toko Ekambi has returned to France and joined Lyon on loan until the end of the season from Spanish club Villareal.

The loan for the 27-year-old has cost Lyon $4.4 million and they have an option to buy him for an initial fee of $12.75.

He has previously played for French clubs Paris FC, Sochaux and most recently Angers before he signed for Villareal in June 2018.

In 2018 while at Angers he won the Marc-Vivien Foe award for the best African player in Ligue 1.

Toko Ekambi has 30 caps for Cameroon and was part of the Indomitable Lions squad that won the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.

Algerian midfielder Walid Mesloub has been released by French Ligue 2 side Lens and signed for Umm Salal in Qatar.

The 34-year-old has played a total of seven times for Algeria with his last cap coming in 2016.

Monday 20 January:

Mali international Adama Traore spent five seasons playing for DR Congo’s TP Mazembe

Mali international Adama Traore has joined Saudi Arabials Al-Adalah on loan for six months from French Ligue 1 side Metz.

The 24-year-old has struggled to break into the first team at Metz since joining them from DR Congo’s TP Mazembe in 2018 and spent last season on loan at second-tier French slide US Orleans.

Traore has six goals in 29 international matches for Mali since his debut in 2013.

He played in all four of the Eagles matches at last year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. (By Mohamed Fajah Barrie)

Sunday 19 January:

Ghana international Mubarak Wakaso has completed his move to Chinese club Jiangsu Suning from Spanish La Liga side Deportivo Alaves.

Alaves confirmed the 29-year-old midfielder’s exit on social media but have not disclosed details of the agreement reached with the Chinese Super League side.

He made 66 La Liga appearances for Alaves, including 16 this season.

Wakaso previously featured for Spain’s Villarreal, Espanyol, Granada, Las Palmas and Elche as well as Scottish giants Celtic, Greek side Panathinaikos and Rubin Kazan of Russia.

He has represented the Black Stars on 58 occasions, including his 20 matches at four Africa Cup of Nations finals, and two games at the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil. (By Mohamed Fajah Barrie)

Eswatini have named Dominic Kunene as the national team’s new head coach on a one-year deal, according to the Confederation of African Football.

Kunene replaces Serbian Kosta Papic who left the national team last month after his contract was not renewed.

Kunene is the current head coach of Young Buffaloes and previously coached eSwatini’s U-20 Men’s national team.

He will look to get the country’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign back on track after the team suffered defeats to both Guinea-Bissau and Senegal.

Friday 17 January:

Zimbabwe’s Knowledge Musona and Ghanaian Emmanuel Sowah have both joined KAS Eupen from Belgian top-flight rivals Anderlecht.

Striker Musona, 29, has signed on loan until the end of the season while 21-year-old defender Sowah’s deal is a permanent move.

Both players impressed when the spent time with Eupen at their recent winter training camp in Qatar.

«Knowledge Musona has integrated very well into the team. He is a player who offers us additional opportunities in attack.» Eupen coach Benat San Jose said.

«He can score goals himself, but can also provide assists for his teammates.»

Ghana forward Majeed Waris was on loan at French side Nantes last sesaon

Ghana striker Majeed Waris has joined French Ligue 1 side Strasbourg from Portugal’s Porto.

The two clubs have agreed an initial sixth-month loan deal for the 28-year-old with a compulsory purchase option that will keep him at Strasbourg for another two years.

Waris had been at Porto since an initial loan that began in January 2018 but failed to establish himself at the club and spent last season on loan in France with Nantes.

«It was my priority to come back to France. Strasbourg is a club I know,» Waris told the club’s website.

«I recently faced Strasbourg with FC Nantes. There is an incredible atmosphere in the stadium and I want to live great moments with the fans.

«I hope to bring my qualities to a team that already has very good strikers.»

Thursday 16 January:

Youssef En-Nesyri scored for Morocco at the 2018 World Cup in Russia

Egyptian side Al Ahly have announced the signing of Senegalese striker Aliou Badji from the Austrian side Rapid Vienna.

The 22-year-old is set to join on a four-and-a-half-year deal.

«Badji and our official Amir Tawfik will arrive in Cairo today (Thursday) where he will undergo medical tests on Friday then will join the training.» Al Ahly said in a statement.

He is yet to play for the senior Teranga Lions side but has represented Senegal at youth level.

«We wish Aliou Badji the best for his future career, we didn’t want to miss the chance that he could play for one of the most popular and best clubs in his home continent,» Rapid Wien director said Zoran Barisic said in official statement. (By Tarek Talaat)

Morocco striker Youssef En-Nesyri has joined Sevilla from Spanish La Liga rivals Leganes on a five-and-a-half-year deal.

Sevilla have reportedly paid Leganes the 22-year-old’s $22.3 million buy-out clause.

En-Ensyri was a late addition to Morocco’s squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and scored in a 2-2 with Spain in the Atlas Lions’ final group game.

He was also part of Morocco’s squad at last years’s Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. (By Jalal Bounouar)

Ivorian forward Anderson Niangbo has joined former Belgian champions Gent until 2024 from Austrian giants Salzburg Red Bull.

The 20-year-old had recently been recalled by Salzburg from a loan spell at Austrian rivals Wolfsberger.

He scored nine goals in 26 games across all competitions while at Wolfsburger.

Niangbo is yet to play for the Ivory Coast’s senior national team but has featured for their under-17’s, under-20s and under-23’s. (By Mohamed Fajah Barrie)

Tunisia international Anice Badri has left African champions Esperance to join Saudi Arabian top-flight side Al Ittihad on a two-and-half-year deal.

He helped Esperance to win the last two African Champions League titles and scored twice at the recent Club World Cup in Qatar.

He featured for Tunisia at last year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, as they lost in the semi-finals to Senegal in extra time. (By Mohamed Fajah Barrie)

Wednesday 15 January:

Ogenyi Onazi helped Nigeria win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations

Nigeria international Ogenyi Onazi has joined Turkish Super Lig side Denizlispor from rivals Trabzonspor on an initial 18-month deal.

The midfielder, 26, struggled for regular first-team football this season after his return from an Achilles injury suffered in December 2018.

Onazi, who has the option for an additional year, is excited about his latest move in Turkey.

«Last year was a challenging one but year 2020 has started with a blessing,» he told BBC Sport.

«I can’t wait for the first game for my new club. They’ve taken a chance on me and I’m ready to give my all.»

He missed the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations but has 51 international caps overall.

He helped the Super Eagles win the 2013 Nations Cup and played in all four of his country’s games at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. (By Oluwashina Okeleji)

Goalkeeper Riffi Mandanda has ended his contract with French third-tier side US Boulogne by mutual consent.

«We thank Riffi for his time at the club (2018) and wish him the best for the future, both personal and professional,» the club wrote on its website.

The 27-year-old is one of four goalkeeping brothers and was called up by the DR Congo to a provisional squad last year, but was later cut from the list.

His oldest brother Steve, 34, playa for French club Marseille and has 30 caps for France and was part of the 2018 World Cup winning squad.

Another brother, Parfait, 30, is currently on loan at Romanian side Dinamo Bucharest and has won 17 caps for DR Congo.

A fourth sibling, Over, is also a goalkeeper and the 21-year-old is currently at French third-tier side US Creteil-Lusitanos. (By Mohamed Fajah Barrie)

Tuesday 14 January:

Moatez Zemzemi has been at French club Strasbourg since January 2018

Tunisia midfielder Moataz Zemzemi has been loan backed to Club Africain by French Ligue 1 side Strasbourg until the end of the season.

However the Tunisian side do not have the option to buy the 20-year-old at the end of the deal.

Zemzemi joined Strasbourg from Club Africain in January 2018 and has made just one appearance for them so far this season.

Argentinian Miguel Gamondi has been appointed as the general manager at Moroccan club Wydad Casablanca.

His appointment came as Serbian Zoran Manojlovic was sacked as the club’s.

Manojlovic parted company with the Moroccan champions by mutual consent on Monday after just six months in charge of the club.

The 53-year-old Gamondi «will be in charge of the restructuring and the new sports project at the club.»

His most recent job was in charge of Wydad’s Moroccan rivals Hassania Agadir, who he left in November.

Morocco midfielder Anuar Tuhami has moved to Greek side Panathinaikos on loan until the end of the season from Spanish La Liga side Real Valladolid.

The 24-year-old Spain-born player has played a total of 57 times for Valladolid including 11 this season.

He made his international debut for Morocco as a substitute in September last year against Burkina Faso and played again as a replacement against Niger four days later.

Two days after leaving CA Bordj Bou Arreridj French coach Franck Dumas has taken over at Algerian rivals CR Belouizdad.

The 52-year-old takes over a team at the top of the Algerian top-flight.

Monday 13 January:

Burkina Faso’s Bryan Dabo has not played for Fiorentina this season

Burkina Faso international Bryan Dabo has joined SPAL on loan from Italian Serie A rivals Fiorentina until the end of the season.

SPAL have the option to buy the 27-year-old France-born midfielder after the initial loan period.

Dabo started his career in France at Montpellier where he spent six years 2010 until 2016, that time included a loan spell in England at Blackburn Rovers in 2014.

He then moved to French rivals Saint-Etienne before the switch to Italy and Fiorentina in January 2018.

Dabo has not played for Fiorentina at all this season and has nine caps for Burkina Faso.(By Mohamed Fajah Barrie)

Saturday 11 January:

Anis Saltou in action for Libya

Libya international Anis Saltou has moved to Al Ittihad in Egypt from Tunisian club Etoile du Sahel on an 18-month contract.

The forward rejoins Al Ittihad coach Talaat Youssef who also coached him when he played for Al Ahli Tripoli in Libya.

In a statement, Youssef praised Saltou’s technical and physical capabilities and said the player would be a great addition to their front line.

27-year-old Saltou was previously named Libyan player of the year in 2018.

He is a regular in the Libya national team and helped the country win the 2014 African Nations Championship (CHAN). (By Morad Dakhil)

In-form Ivorian international Yohan Boli has completed his move to Qatari club Al Rayyan from Belgium’s Sint-Truidense after successfully undergoing a medical on Friday.

Ivorian Yohan Boli

The details of the 26-year old forward’s contract have not been disclosed. Boli had recently been linked to several European clubs including Bordeaux, Nantes, Anderlecht, Besiktas, Standard Liege and Brighton.

Boli leaves the Belgian top flight side after more than four years, having scored 10 goals so far this season. In a long association with Belgium, the France-born player also previously featured for KSV Roeselare and Verviers.

Boli committed his international future to his country of origin Ivory Coast in 2017 and has been capped seven times by the Elephants. (By Mohamed Fajah Barrie)

Friday 10 January:

Comoros international Rafidine Abdullah has cut short a trial at Spanish third-tier side Hercules to join Swiss side Lausanne Ouchy.

The 25-year-old former Marseille player has signed an 18-month deal with the second-tier side.

Abdullah, who was born in France, has been without a club since he left Belgian outfit Waasland-Beveren in January 2019 due to injury.

His last competitive match was for Waasland-Beveren against Eupen on 2 December 2018 in the Belgian top flight league.

He represented France at under-18, under-19 and under-20 levels before committing to Comoros, who he has now played four times for. (By Mohamed Fajah Barrie)

Ghana international midfielder Ebenezer Ofori has returned to former Swedish champions AIK Solna on a four-year deal from Stuttgart.

The 24-year-old joined the German club from AIK Solna in January 2017.

He spent the last 18 months on loan at MLS side New York City, where he played a total of 48 times. (By Mohamed Fajah Barrie)

Nigerian Jesse Sekidika is yet to play at international level

Turkish giants Galatasaray have signed Nigerian Jesse Sekidika on a four-and-a-half-year deal on a free transfer from local second-tier side Eskisehirspor.

Sekidika was born in Nigeria and educated in England before beginning his youth career in Portugal and then moving to Serbian club FK Napredak.

The 23-year-old winger, who is yet to play at international level, is excited by his move.

«I came to a very large club. I am very happy. I will use this great opportunity. Galatasaray was a place I always wanted,» he told the club’s website.

Thursday 9 January:

Swedish top-flight club Kalmar FF has said it plans to take action against its Nigerian midfielder Chidiebere Nwakali for failing to show up for pre-season training.

According to head coach Jorgen Petersson the club turned down a request from Nwakali to buy him an air ticket in order for him to return from a holiday in Nigeria.

Petersson added that it was not a good situation for either party.

The 23-year-old former youth international, who was part of Manchester City’s youth set up, joined Kalmar in January last year on a four-year deal from Polish club Rakow Czestochowa.

Guinea’s Simon Falette joined Eintracht Frankfurt from French club Metz in 2017

Chidiebere is the older brother of Kelechi Nwakali, the former Arsenal player who now plays in Spain for Huesca.(By Simon Reeves)

Nigeria international Peter Etebo has completed a loan move to Spanish side Getafe from English Championship club Stoke City.

The 24-year-old will be at the La Liga side until the end of the season.

Etebo has made 14 appearances for Stoke this season but has failed to score.

Benin international Moise Adilehou has joined Turkish second-tier side Boluspor on a one-year-five-month deal as a free agent in a bid to resurect his career.

The 24-year-old France-born defender has been without a club since leaving Greek club Levadiakos last summer.

His struggles come despite being part of the Benin squad that reached the quarter-finals of last year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

He has previously featured for Slovak outfit Slovan Bratislava and in the French fourth-tier. (By Mohamed Fajah Barrie)

Former Arsenal winger Gilles Sunu has returned to his childhood club Chateauroux, who are in France’s Ligue 2, on a three-year deal as a free agent.

The 28-year-old Togo international recently ended his contract with Turkish second-tier side BB Erzurumspor.

Sunu was born in Chateauroux and joined the club’s youth set-up before moving to Arsenal in 2007, who then loaned him to Derby County and FC Lorient.

He then joined Lorient on a permanent deal in 2011 and spent four years at the club before stints at French rivals Evian Thonon Gaillard and Angers.

He played for France at youth level before committing to Togo, for who his father Manu also played internationally.

New USL Championship side San Diego Loyal have signed three African players ahead of their debut season in the USA’s second tier.

They include forward 24-year-old Ashley Nazira, who becomes the first player from Mauritius to play in the United States, as he signed from local club Pamplemousses.

The others are both midfielders; Beverly Makangila,19, from DR Congo and Cameroonian Jerome Mbekeli, who is 21.

The club is part-owned and coached by former USA international striker Landon Donavon.(By Yasine Mohabuth)

Guinea defender Simon Falette has joined Turkish Super Lig side Fenerbahce on loan from German club Eintracht Frankfurt until the end of the season,

Fenerbahce also have an option to buy the 27-year-old France-born player once the loan period is over.

Falette, who made just one league appearance for Frankfurt in the first part of the season, was told he could look for a new club earlier in January and did travel with the rest of the team for a training camp in the USA.

He played in all four of Guinea’s games at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations as the Syli Nationale reached the last 16.

Wednesday 8 January:

Serey Die was part of the Ivory Coast squad that won the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations

French Ligue 2 side Troyes have taken Mali international Rominigue Kouame on loan from Ligue 1 club Lille until the end of the season.

Troyes then have an option to buy the 23-year-old midfielder on a permanent deal.

Kouame was born in Ivory Coast but was eligible to play for Mali through his mother and played for them at the 2016 African Nations Championship in Rwanda, while he was playing for AS Real Bamako.

He spent last season on loan at Paris FC and again was loaned out for the first part of this season to Belgian side Cercle Brugge.

The West African Football Union (Wafu) has announced the new dates for its regional Zone A Women’s Cup that will be held in Sierra Leone.

The Sierra Leone Football Association says the rescheduled tournament will be held between 25 February and 7 March in the cities of Bo and Makeni.

The competition was supposed to have taken place last month but was postponed due to «logistical concerns.»

Eight countries are billed to take part in the tournament — Senegal, Mali, Guinea Bissau, Cape Verde, Guinea, The Gambia, Mauritania and hosts Sierra Leone. (By Mohamed Fajah Barrie)

Ivory Coast midfielder Serey Die has returned to Swiss club Neuchatel Xamax on a short-term deal until the end of the season as a free agent.

The 35-year-old spent the second part of last season on loan at Neuchatel Xamax from Swiss rivals Basel, who he left in August.

During two stints with Basel he played 141 matches, won the Super League championship four times and won the 2017 Swiss Cup.

Most recently Die, who was part of the Ivory Coat squad at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, had played for Swiss second-tier side Aarau.

«He is a player who will bring us his experience and his aggressiveness. As he knows the championship and the team very well, he will not need time to adapt,» the Neuchatel coach, Joel Magnin, said. (By Mohamed Fajah Barrie)

Tuesday 7 January:

Yacouba Coulibaly has played 50 matches for Le Havre since joining them in 2017

Austrian champions Red Bull Salzburg have recalled Ivorian Anderson Niangbo from his loan at Bundesliga rivals Wolfsberger.

The 20-year-old had been due to spend the whole season with Wolfsburger but Salzburg are looking for cover after the sale of Takumi Minamino to Liverpool and Erling Braut Haaland to Borussia Dortmund.

He scored nine goals in 26 games across all competitions while at Wolfsburger.

Niangbo was originally loaned out by Salzburg’s feeder club Liefering, but was welcomed back by the senior team on its website.

He is yet to play for the Ivory Coast’s senior national team but has featured for their under-17’s, under-20s and under-23’s.

The Gambia midfielder Sulayman Marreh has joined KAA Gent on a three-and-a-half-year deal from Belgian rivals KAS Eupen.

The 23-year-old played 41 games for Eupen, who he initially joined on loan from English club Watford in 2018 before signing permanently at the start of the season.

Marreh started his career in The Gambia with local clubs Abuko United and Samger United before moving to Spanish side Granada in 2017.

«Sulayman is a young defensive midfielder who is strong at getting the ball back but also has a lot of footballing ability,» the club’s sporting manager Peter Verbeke said.

«Sulayman is someone we have been following for a very long time. Under Claude Makelele (former Eupen coach) he played at a very high level last season and we assume that he will be able to fully develop that potential at KAA Gent.»

Burkina Faso defender Yacouba Coulibaly has begun training with Paris FC after joining them on loan until the end of the season from French Ligue 2 rivals Le Havre.

The 25-year-old has been at Le Havre since 2017 after joining them from Burkinabe side Bobo-Dioulasso.

He has struggled for first-team football this season and played just five matches for Le Havre in all competitions this season.

Coulibaly has played 26 times for Burkina Faso since his debut in 2015.

Sunday 5 January:

Nigeria striker Henry Onyekuru has returned for a second loan spell at Turkish Super Lig side Galatasaray.

This time the 22-year-old joins from French club Monaco until the end of the season.

Onyekuru has struggled to establish himself at Monaco after signing for them from English Permier League side Everton in August last year.

Despite missing most of October with a hamstring injury he has played just four times for the French club this season.

He was loan to Galatasaray last season from Everton when he scored 16 goals, contributed 6 assists in 44 matches in all competitions as he helped the club win a league and cup double.

Badou N’Diaye was part of the Senegal squad that reached the final of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations

Senegal midfielder Badou N’Diaye has completed a loan move from English second-tier side Stoke City to Turkish Super Lig club Trabzonspor until the end of the season.

The 29-year-old, who has made 13 appearances for Stoke this season, returns to Turkey where he spent last season with Galatasaray on loan.

Saturday 4 January:

Mali youth international El Bilal Toure has joined French top side Reims on a five-year deal from Afrique Foot Elite.

The 18-year-old helped his country to success at the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations last year in Niger.

He rejected offers from elsewhere and Reims general manager, Mathieu Lacour, believes he has come to the right club.

«What we proposed to El Bilal was a structured project. First to acclimatise to French football and European culture, via the Pro 2 where he will rub shoulders with his compatriot Fodé Doucouré in particular,» Lacour said. (By Oluwashina Okeleji)

Friday 3 January:

Dylan Bronn made his debut for Tunisia in March 2017

French Ligue 1 side Metz have signed Tunisia defender Dylan Bronn on a four-and-a-half-year deal, from Belgian side Gent for a reported $4.4 million.

The 24-year-old was born in France and has played for Cannes and Chamois Niortais before moving to Belgium in 2017.

Bronn was persuaded to play for Tunisia in 2017 by former Metz coach Henry Kasperczak, when he was in charge of the Carthage Eagles.

He has 20 caps for Tunisia and was part of their squad at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where he scored against Belgium in a 5-2 loss, he also helped them finish fourth at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Thursday 2 January:

Guinea defender Simon Falette «is free to hold transfer talks with other clubs» his German Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt have announced.

The 27-year-old France-born player has not travelled with the rest of the team for a training camp in Florida, USA.

Falette has made just one league appearance for Frankfurt so far this season.

He played in all four of Guinea’s games at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations as the Syli Nationale reached the last 16.

Wednesday 1 January:

Senegal striker Diafra Sakho played for West Ham in the English Premier League

Former Chelsea and Ivory Coast striker Salomon Kalou has taken his quest to find a new club in good faith.

The 34-year-old, whose contract with German outfit Hertha Berlin expires in June, was excused from training on Sunday to enable him ‘find a new club’.

«Salomon is a matured person and he’s set to make an important decision,» a club official told BBC Sport.

«There was no problem with him and it’s all in good faith.»

Kalou joined the German Bundesliga side in August 2014 from French side Lille and made 173 appearances for the club.

He has made five league appearances for Hertha this season, but has only made one start with the other four coming from the bench.

Kalou has made a total of 97 appearances for the Elephants, scoring 28 goals. (By Oluwashina Okeleji)

French Ligue 1 club Rennes have released Senegal striker Diafra Sakho and terminated his contract by mutual consent.

The 30-year-old’s deal was due to run until June and he has been linked with a move to the Gulf.

«The club thanks Diafra for his time at the club and his unfailing professional and personal commitment and we wish him the best for the future,» a statement from Rennes said.

Sakho joined Rennes in January 2018 from English club West Ham and played at the World Cup in Russia later that year but spent last season on loan with Turkish side Bursaspor.

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