Reported Rangers and Celtic target Joseph Okumu has spoken out about his future.
The Gers were first linked with Okumu in March, with Sport Bladet reporting that Steven Gerrard could turn to the Kenyan centre-back should Filip Helander move to the Premier League.
In a recent update, Sport Bladet claimed that Rangers, Celtic, Gent, Lorient and Stade de Reims had all tabled ‘significant’ bids for the 24-year-old, with Lorient going in highest at around £2.5m.
The player says he’s keen to take a step up from the Allsvenskan at some stage but is taking a back seat on transfer matters for now – suggesting simultaneously that he’s unaware of any firm offers landing with his representatives.
“Yes, definitely [will take the next step],” he said [Glasgow Live]. “The most important thing is that I have already made an impression here. When I have done that, and both I and the club are satisfied… I think we have the same interests here, that I will take the next step.”
“I don’t know [which clubs are tracking me], I let my agent take care of it. When there is something concrete, he will let me know, but we have not talked about this, so I am not so sure about it.
“I prefer that he lets me know when it’s really concrete. Until then, I want to stay away from it, as it takes a lot of energy. So, I stay in the background around all this.”
“France is a good place,” he added when asked directly about the possibility of a move to Ligue 1. “But it’s more about the project than about the country. It’s about what they want with me. If I go, I want it to be somewhere where I can make an impression, show my qualities. Not somewhere where I’m just part of the team, I want to play a big role.”
Okumu and his representatives are playing their cards close to their chests right now and his situation is a little different to most reported Gers targets this summer, as the Swedish season is in progress rather than complete.
Unlike Celtic, Rangers aren’t in desperate need of a new centre-back despite having injury problems in that area late on in the season, particularly as Niko Katic and George Edmundson are set to be available for pre-season following injury and a loan spell, respectively.
However, 6ft 4″ Okumu, who was clocked as the fastest player in the Allsvenskan last year [Mozzart Sport], is undoubtedly a big prospect and it’ll be interesting to see if the Gers are keen enough on him to be dragged into a proper bidding war over the coming months.