Benin’s teenage forward Charbel Codjo Gomez has constantly been linked to a number of Ghanaian clubs since his breakthrough at the Wafu Cup of Nations a couple of months ago.
The latest club to crop up is Premier League giants Accra Hearts of Oak, with several reports in the Ghanaian media landscape going as far as claiming a deal is almost done.
Footy-Ghana.com can confirm that indeed there was a concrete interest from Hearts but in what appears a clear move to resist all non-European offers by his club Esae FC, Hearts were flatly turned down.
According to our sources, Dreams FC, Asante Kotoko as well as Gabonese side US Bitam suffered similar fates prior.
A top official within Hearts told Footy-Ghana: “we made an approach but were told he is heading for a club in France.” And that’s how the Phobians’ interest fizzled out.
French Ligue 1 clubs OGC Nice and Montpellier have been linked to Charbel Gomez. After the Wafu Cup, the two sides further monitored him in Marseille during Benin’s friendly with Gabon last October.
He has also invites from Germany’s Schalke 04 and Stuttgart.
Charbel Gomez is the youngest player to feature for the Benin senior team – 16 years, 8 months. He has also been listed among 10 nominees for the 2017 Benin Sports Personality of the Year Award whose winner will be announced next Wednesday.
No ‘Wafu signings’ by Hearts
Hearts of Oak have closed the chapter on pursuing the signature of any of the standout players from other countries at the Wafu tournament.
The Phobians who feel priced out of the market intend to concentrate on recruiting the best available talents locally.
“Our coach observed the Wafu Tournament and made some recommendations. When we made contacts, we realized their clubs are not willing to do business so we turned our attention elsewhere. Already, we have two foreign players and should we get the chance to sign another, we would do so,” the Hearts source noted.