Five more clubs have entered the race to sign Royal Excel Mouscron of Belgium’s in-form striker, Taiwo Awoniyi this summer, as he has caught the eye of the French trio of FC Metz, OGC Nice and FC Toulouse as well as Club Brugge and Hertha Berlin of Germany.
Footballlive.ng gathered that all five clubs are now queuing behind the German Bundesliga duo of Shalke 04 and SV Mainz 04, who both showed the first intent of buying Awoniyi in the summer.
Schalke, though, look much more serious than all others, as the former club of Victor Okechukwu Agali and Chinedu Obasi (Ogbuke) declared at the start of this week that they are prepared to pay as much as €15m for Awoniyi in the summer.
Schalke may end up putting an end to Awoniyi’s long chain of loan deals from his parent club, Liverpool, which has seen him star in the past at another German club, SV Frankfurt in the lower division.
However, additional reports say Liverpool would prefer to loan Awoniyi again, as he is making the best of his second spell with Mouscron, but the Merseyside-based English Premier League club could be willing to sell him for as low as €11m.
That being the case, Awoniyi could start thinking of a return to Germany with Schalke, who are monitoring his progress and have approached his parent club regarding a permanent transfer at the end of this season.
Awoniyi signed an improved five-year contract with Liverpool in the past summer, but he is yet to make a debut for The Reds due to work permit bottleneck, hence loan deals at Frankfurt, NEC Nijmegen of Holland as well as the Belgian duo of Mouscron and KAA Gent.
However, the 21-year-old Imperial Football Academy of Odogboolu, Ogun State product has been on fire in the second half of this season, with six goals already in seven matches, the last of which was this past weekend in a 1-1 draw away to Standard Liege.
The buzz out of Anfield now is that Liverpool are ready to cash in on Awoniyi, as Schalke are ready to officially open talks with The Reds.