Lukewarm rumors emanating from the Turkish press suggest Montreal Impact are working hard to prise 20 year-old Malian center-back Mamadou Fofana from Super Lig strugglers, Aytemiz Alanyaspor.
The fee being mentioned is around $2.5m USD.
After recent speculation suggesting new coach Remi Garde wants another centre-back, midfielder and striker before MLS 2018 season gets up and running, there could be something in this. The front office at Stade Saputo however, remain tight-lipped.
The piece of the story that may lack credibility however is the size of the fee for a player yet to make his 20th appearance in the Turkish Super Lig.
Fofana moved to the Turkish club when he was 18, leaving his local Academy, Stade Malian. He made his first team debut in January last year, in a 2-3 home defeat against Caykur Rizespor. Since then Fofana’s been on loan to Bandirmaspor, a northern Turkish club, struggling at the foot of Lig 1 (2nd tier).
His 10 appearances there helped steady the ship, however his presence was unable to save Bandirmaspor from the drop.
He was recalled to Alanyspor this season, and has become a regular fixture in the side. Once again however, he finds himself embroiled in a relegation dog-fight, but at least he’s getting top-level Super Lig experience with it this time.
There’s been appearances against three of Turkey’s Big Four – Galatasary, Besiktas and Istanbul Basaksehir FK, where’s he’s come up against the likes of Emanuel Adebayor, Cenk Tosun, Alvaro Negredo and Bafetimbi Gomis.
His first two full international caps were won this season, both in 0-0 draws with Gabon and Ivory Coast in World Cup Qualifying. Fofana had already tasted success on the World Stage in November 2015, when he played in all 7 matches for Mali in their run to the FIFA u17 World Cup Final in Vina del Mar, Chile. For the record, Nigeria spoiled the party by winning 2-0.
So will Mamadou Fofana be swapping the orange and green of Alanyaspor for the bleu/blanc/noir of Impact de Montreal any time soon?
We shall have to wait and see.
Footnote: Who are Fofana’s current club, Aytemiz Alanyaspor?
Aytemiz Alanyaspor are a small club from southern Turkey who are competing in the Turkish Super Lig for the second season in their 70-year history. Last season was their first in the top flight, and they hope to stave off relegation in 2017/18 to make it three years in a row in the Turkish top division.
The club plays home games at its Bahcesehir Okullari Stadium, which has a capacity of just under 11,000 and turned professional only in 1984. While most of the club’s history has been spent in amateur football, only 12 of its 34 pro-seasons have been spent in the top two tiers of Turkish football.