Veteran Turkish manager saddened by Henry Onyekuru’s Olympiakos move

Galatasaray were the big favourites to land the Nigerian international forward, who had never hidden his love for the Yellow and Reds

Henry Onyekuru’s switch from Monaco to Olympiakos is all but confirmed after the player landed in Greece on Sunday to put the finishing touches to his contract with the Greek champions.

Olympiakos have agreed to pay five million euros for Onyekuru’s services and could announce the winger’s signing in the coming hours.

The Super Eagles star has also expressed his delight at finding a new home after failing to settle in France with the Principality club.

“I am happy to be here,” Onyekuru told the media when he landed in Greece, as per Akit TV.

“I want to help the team that is trying to become a champion to be on the European stage. I think I will be ready for the Ludogorets match.”

Onyekuru’s move to Greece came despite his preference to remain in Turkey, where he had spent the best part of the last three years.

The former Anderlecht star was at different times offered to Super Lig giants Fenerbahce and Besiktas. Still, neither took up the option to acquire the fleet-footed winger at a reduced price.

Galatasaray, where the 24-year-old spent the second half of last season, would feel they have lost both a player and a fan.

The Yellow-Reds had an obligation to turn Onyekuru’s loan deal into a permanent one but failed to pick up the option before the deadline elapsed.

And Galatasaray’s manager Fatih Terim has confirmed that the club failed to sign the Nigerian because the deal didn’t make financial sense.

But the veteran tactician confessed his sadness at not adding the talented forward to the squad he is building in Istanbul.

“According to our option, Onyekuru was asked to pay 50 per cent of his fee, which is 4.375 million euros,” Terim said, as per Gazete Futbol.

“To oblige him one hundred per cent, we would have had to spend twice the amount accordingly. But now he’s moved to Olympiakos for five million.”

“Don’t you think I would have liked to see him on our (Galatasaray) roster?”

Onyekuru lifted the Turkish Super Lig title with Galatasaray in his first loan spell, establishing a solid bond with the club’s passionate supporters.

But after his time in Belgium, Turkey, and France, the youngster’s next stop his Greece, where he would seek to help Olympiakos defend their league title and make an impact in the UEFA Champions League.

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