Leeds United and Nottingham Forest battle for £1.5m striker Kabananga complicated by recent comments

Democratic Republic of the Congo's forward Junior Kabananga controls the ball during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final football match between DR Congo and Ghana in Oyem on...

Leeds and Nottingham Forest have been linked to Junior Kabananga.

Leeds United and Nottingham Forest were this week both linked with a £1.5 million move for striker Junior Kabananga, by Teamtalk.

Kabananga plays in Kazakhstan for Astana, who take on Celtic in Champions League qualification this week.

But it is not just being one step away from the group stages which makes a move difficult for the Championship clubs.

Democratic Republic of the Congo's forward Junior Kabananga controls the ball during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final football match between DR Congo and Ghana in Oyem on...

DR Congo international Kabananga signed a new contract with Astana just a fortnight ago.

Astana reported via their official website on July 27 that Kabananga had committed his future to the club for another season, as the deal had been set to expire.

Democratic Republic of the Congo's forward Junior Kabananga kicks the ball to score past Togo's forward Serge Gakpe (L) during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group C football match between...

While the contract only runs out in June 2018, giving Astana an opportunity to cash in, Kabananga sounded like he had no intent of moving on, and if he wanted to he could have walked away already.

He spoke passionately to the club website about his love for Astana.

He said: "I'm happy to play in Astana, where I feel the respect and support of the Kazakh people. When our fans sing my name at matches, I have tears of joy in my eyes.

"My environment, the very environment where you live, is very important to me, and Kazakhstan has become for me another place for me and my work on the field is appreciated.

"The coach trusts me, and I try to fight for the colors of "Astana" in every match. I owe a lot to "Astana" - it was here that I gained strength and fame and became the main player of my team.

"I will try to work with the team to achieve the highest goals for Astana, for the city and for the entire Kazakh people."

This does not sound like a player who intends at present on quitting the club to play in England's second tier, even if Astana are beaten to Champions League qualificaiton by Celtic.

A Celtic victory may help, but if Astana win then Leeds and Nottingham Forest will likely have no chance.

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