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Sport: My move to Tottenham failed –Onazi

Sport: My move to Tottenham failed –Onazi

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Nigeria midfielder Ogenyi Onazi   has claimed  Harry Redknapp  attempted  to sign him during his managerial career at Premier  League giants  Tottenham.

Seventy-year-old Redknapp, who  managed  the Spurs between 2008 and 2012,  is  English Championship side Birmingham City’s current manager.

Onazi,  24, played  himself into the spotlight at the Nigeria 2009 FIFA Under-17 World  Cup and attracted interest from a slew of clubs in Europe.

However, he settled on a move to Italian  Serie A  side   Lazio in 2011. The Jos-born player later turned   into  an important player for the Biancocelesti between 2012 and 2014.

  The holding midfielder, who  swapped Lazio for Turkish club Trabzonspor last year,  was denied a chance to  join Birmingham, during the summer transfer market after he was denied a work permit to ply his trade in England.

And the South Africa  2013  Africa Cup  of Nations  winner, who  is targeting a   move to Birmingham  during the next transfer window in January, has revealed Redknapp  is very keen to  work with  him, although he did not give the reason for the Englishman’s failure to sign him when he was at the helm at Tottenham.

“I am still in talks with Harry Redknapp,” Turkish  newspaper Fanatik quoted Onazi as saying on Thursday.

“Harry Redknapp has wanted me since he was at Tottenham. The transfer stalled but we have stayed in contact  ever since.

“He wanted me at Tottenham because he believed  I was good enough to play in the  Premier League.

“Harry still wants me in his team.”

Onazi has one goal  to his name  in two appearances for Trabzonspor this season.

The player, whose  contract  at  the Medical Park Arena ends  in 2019, is desperate to get his career back on track, and a  move  to Birmingham could help him retain his  Super  Eagles’  first-team place.

Onazi produced a strong performance in the Eagles’ 2018 World  Cup   qualifying  double-header  against Cameroon in Uyo  and Yaoundé this month. Nigeria won the first leg in Uyo 4-0 and battled to  a 1-1 draw against the African  champions in Yaounde.

Meanwhile,    Trabzonspor manager Ersun Yanal is  pleased with Onazi’s response after his late introduction in the 3-1 win over Genclerbirligi in their Super Lig fixture on   Saturday.

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