In spite of their immediate focus on the CAF Confederation Cup championship,Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko are currently engaged in a familiar struggle on the player transfer market.
By the close of last week, both clubs had expressed interest in Douglas Nkrumah, Agbletor and goalkeeper Sulemana Abubakari and submitted their separate proposals for the services of the Power FC players, as they looked beyond the two-leg finals of the continental championship. In separate letters to their premiership counterparts, both Hearts and Kotoko requested to speak to Power FC on the possible transfer of the players in the coming season.
The three, to each side, would comprise useful materials towards a more successful campaign in the more lucrative CAF Champions League competition.Nkrumah has been key in the current Satellites stock, providing stealth in midfield and strength in leadership at the national team level.Goalkeeper Sulemana is a potential asset to any of the national teams and as first choice at club level, played a significant part in Power FC's campaign this season.
Lurking in the background and waiting to sneak in are Liberty Professionals, who according to Power FC sources, were expected to send in a formal request for the player as a follow-up to their verbal commitment.Hearts officials, according to the source, were expected to meet Power FC over the players this week, the same period Kotoko have also arranged to meet the club on the subject.
Kotoko, however, have prepared the way ahead of the meeting, preferring to lure Power to the negotiating table with a friendly at the El-Wak Stadium tomorrow. Indeed, the game, apart from serving critical preparation purposes for Kotoko towards their January 2 and 9 cup final games against Hearts,will afford Coach Hans Dieter-Schmidt and his management a closer view of the potentials whose services they desire for the coming season.
The clash over the players is, however, not a new phenomenon, but is just the lattest of a conversant trend. Before the 2003 season, Emmanuel Osei and Masawudu Mumuni, both then of Maxbees, were the subject of a transfer struggle between the two clubs.Hearts won both players but their contribution failed to help them to a sixth successful defence of the league champioship.