The midfielder has a few months remaining in his contract with Ingwe and is set to complete talks with the Greek team
AFC Leopards midfielder Collins Shichenje asked to be excluded from Kenya’s Cecafa squad in order to complete talks with the Greek side PAOK Thessaloniki, Goal has learnt.
Shichenje, who can also play as a centre-back, asked to be excused from the Emerging Stars squad in order to make travel arrangements and complete the expected move to the Greek top-flight side.
The former Green Commandos midfielder has a few months remaining on his contract with the Football Kenya Federation Premier League side.
What has been said
“He opted to leave the Emerging Stars camp in order to complete the PAOK Thessaloniki talks because he wants to chase his European dream,” a source close to the 21-year-old told Goal on Wednesday.
“He was elated to get a call-up from Stanley Okumbi, but the desire to complete the deal with the Greek club made him reconsider his place in the national side.
“He has the blessings of AFC Leopards and it is the club that requested the federation to release him from the Cecafa squad in order to chase the dream.”
PAOK had engaged the Kenyan midfielder in April, but travel was made impossible by the restrictions placed in order to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Although rumours indicate Shichenje has been offered a two-year deal by the Greek side, the source did not confirm whether that is true.
“I can not confirm whether that deal has been tabled, but what I know is that the player and the team have agreed on the majority of the issues. PAOK are satisfied Shichenje has qualities that could be of help to them, and the midfielder is eager to grab the opportunity,” the source added.
Shichenje’s exclusion means that Okumbi travelled to Ethiopia to compete in the regional tournament with 11 midfielders: Yidah Sven and Oliver Maloba of Nairobi City Stars, Marvin Nabwire and Austin Odhiambo of AFC Leopards, Posta Rangers’ Josephat Lopanga and Steiner Musasia, Vincent Wasambo and Regan Otieno of KCB, Ulinzi Stars’ John Njuguna, Tusker’s Boniface Muchiri and David Odhiambo of Kakamega Homeboyz.
The Cecafa competition – where Kenya are in Group C alongside South Sudan and Djibouti – will take place July 18 to 31 in Bahir Dar in Northern Ethiopia.