Kennedy Igboananike joins Chicago Fire despite interest from Southampton

Chicago Fire have beaten Southampton to the signing of AIK striker Kennedy Igboananike.

Having signed Red Bull Salzburg flyer Sadio Mane over the summer, Southampton were reportedly interested in adding another speeder in Kennedy Igboananike.

The 25-year-old Nigerian, who was playing with AIK in Sweden, had earned a reputation for his rapid pace, and it was reported in November that Southampton were battling with QPR for the signature of Igboananike.

Their pursuit of Igboananike resembled that of Mane and Mayuka, in trying to unearth speedsters from unheralded European countries - but he won't be coming to the South Coast.

In a surprise transfer, Igboananike instead joined Chicago Fire today, moving to Major League Soccer as a Designated Player for Frank Yallop's men - much to the manager's delight.

"Kennedy is a dynamic goal scorer with a track record of producing," said Yallop. "He’s young and exciting, a player with incredible pace, and we look forward to adding him to our roster to bolster our attack."

With speculation linking Southampton with moves for Andros Townsend and Danny Ings, it may simply be a case of manager Ronald Koeman searching for more illustrious players.

This is Igboananike's first move away from Sweden since arriving in 2007 with Djurgardens, and it remains to be seen whether he will finally reach the Premier League.

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