Tanzania Yanga SC facing competition to keep star player Stephanie Aziz Ki – Hersi Said

Tanzania Premier League champions Young Africans (Yanga SC) President Engineer Hersi Said has admitted to facing competition from foreign clubs in retaining their last season’s best scorer Stephanie Aziz Ki.

The Burkina Faso international has become one of the most sought-after talents on the continent since joining the club from ASEC Mimosas and securing the Premier League Golden Boot last season.

Aziz Ki helped the Jangwani-based side to reach the quarter-finals of the CAF Champions League before they were controversially knocked out by Mamelodi Sundowns in a penalty shootout.

His performance in the CAF Champions League has seen the 28-year-old linked with South African giants Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns, and Egyptian side Pyramids in recent months.

“It’s very tough for us to lose players, especially one like Aziz Ki. I’m not saying we’re going to lose him but there’s a lot of interest coming from a number of clubs, including clubs in South Africa,” he said at the launch of the Toyota Cup on Monday as quoted by the Guardian.

“But Young Africans have a very strong connection with the player and we’ve done our homework as leaders of the club to make sure the player stays in the club. And the discussion is going very well.

“We will come back and do the [announcement] when we finalize, but for now nothing has been finalised, even though there are a lot of clubs interested in the player. So the discussion is there, I can say, there’s a big chance for him to stay but we haven’t finalized yet.”

When pressed on the position of the player and whether he is keen to stay with the East African giants, Eng. Said admitted he’s happy, but money is what talks at the end of the day for clubs and players.

“He was the key member of the project and plan I was putting in place, so our discussion was the same and he was very keen to say that, ‘I need to be here in Young Africans and at least take this team to the project level we want it to be at’.

“So yes he wants to stay but football is business nowadays, you can be tempted to stay but financial approaches can change your mind… so 60 [percent chance he stays], 40 [percent chance he leaves],” he said.

Dennis Mabuka

Dennis Mabuka is a seasoned Kenyan journalist with 18 years of experience covering sports events. He is currently a sport content creator with en.Africatopsports.com.

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