Controversial striker who 'dreamed' of Liverpool set to make surprise move to Turkey

Nigeria International

Emmanuel Emenike said he wanted to move to Liverpool earlier this year, and is now on the verge of making a shock return to Turkey.

Emmanuel Emenike claimed earlier this year that a move to Liverpool would be one he would dearly love to make, so any fans tracking his progress may be surprised to learn of his next move given his past history.

The striker said in February: "It is paper talk at the moment, but a club like Liverpool makes people dream, growing up in Africa, you hear about the Kop and you want to score goals at that end. It would be amazing, like winning the Africa Cup of Nations.

"I have always dreamed of playing in the Premier League and, if the opportunity arrives, I will be happy."

Emenike was part of Nigeria's African Nations Cup winning squad in January, scoring four goals in the tournament, returning to Spartak Moscow in Russia where his season was ended by a knee injury. 

He has since recovered, and has netted twice in three games since the Russian Premier League resumed in mid-July.

But now it is claimed by Russian newspaper Izvestia that Emenike is on the verge of sealing a deal to sign for Fenerbahce, claiming CSKA have accepted an offer of around €13 million.

"In the very near future Emenike say goodbye to teammates and the coaching staff and will fly to Istanbul to sign a personal contract with the Turkish super club."

It is a remarkable decision in context of Emenike's past history. We described him earlier this year as Africa's brightest and most controversial talent.

In May 2011 he was signed up by Turkish giants Fenerbahce for £7 million, but little did he know he would never play a single game for the club.

For he would quickly become embroiled in a match-fixing scandal which saw Fenerbahce banned from the Champions League for a season. Despite not playing a game, it was alleged Emenike was one of 13 players approached regarding bribery.

It was alleged that Emenike missed Karabukspor’s clash Fenerbahce because of an injury he did not have. Shorn of their star man Karabukspor lost game 1-0, allowing Fenerbahce to win Turkish league title. It was further alleged Fenerbahce then signed him as repayment of that debt.

Five months after signing for Spartak, Emenike was officially charged with match-fixing by the Turkish authorities. A trial began last May, and after shunning several summons, he eventually traveled to Istanbul to answer the charges, and was officially cleared in July.

So this latest report that he will sign with Fenerbahce is surprising to say the least. But perhaps they have finally got their man, and he can play for them at the second attempt, even if it will always be under a cloud given his past history there.

For Liverpool it's another potential striker target being snapped up, but equally perhaps another indication the Reds have no intention of selling Luis Suarez.

Are you surprised by Emenike's imminent move? What do you make of it?

image: © niyyie

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