Where a £30m-rated striker will play next season may have emerged after a report revealed a club’s sporting director is ‘increasingly convinced’ he knows who’ll sign the Arsenal, Liverpool and Leeds Utd target.
RB Salzburg’s Noah Okafor is quickly becoming one of Europe’s most in-demand forwards. The Switzerland international is currently in Qatar and appeared off the bench during their 1-0 victory over Cameroon to open their World Cup account in fine style.
At club level, Okafor’s time in Austria is increasingly sounding like it’ll come to an end at some stage in 2023.
Okafor plays predominantly at centre-forward and would be a fine addition to the squads of Liverpool or Arsenal. If signed by Leeds, he’d likely displace Patrick Bamford as a starter.
The 22-year-old has 11 goals to his name across all competitions this season including three in the Champions League.
The Daily Mirror reported earlier in November Gunners chief Edu was exploring a move. Sky Sports Germany claimed Liverpool have set their sights on the Swiss attacker, while Leeds Utd were heavily linked soon after the last summer window closed.
The Whites have a strong connection to the Red Bull group through manager Jesse Marsch who previously managed both Salzburg and Leipzig.
Marsch utilised his connections well over the summer upon acquiring Rasmus Kristensen, Brenden Aaronson and Tyler Adams – all from Red Bull sides.
A vast array of other clubs have also been credited with interest, such as AC Milan, Bayern Munich, West Ham and Man City.
Speaking to Sky Sport Austria, Salzburg’s sporting director Christoph Freund recently said: “I think there will be a bit more going on in the transfer market than in recent years. Okafor really took off last year.
“I hope he plays a good World Cup, then the Noah Okafor stock can become very interesting. I’m not ruling it [his sale] out.”
Clearly, Okafor is a player worthy of investment and his future will not remain in Salzburg for long.
Next Noah Okafor club emerges?
Now, according to Italian outlet Calciomercato, where he’s likely to play next season has come to light.
They report AC Milan sporting director, Paolo Maldini, is ‘increasingly confident’ Okafor will choose Milan.
Maldini has reportedly been laying the groundwork for an Okafor capture for over two years, presumably dating back to when he first signed for Salzburg in the summer of 2020.
It’s speculated Milan could meet with Okafor’s camp and/or RB Salzburg after the World Cup to discuss a move to Italy.
Of course, Milan ramping up their interest could prompt the other suitors to respond in kind. But for the time being at least, Maldini is confident Okafor is heading for Milan.