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Rangers bid Sh300 million for Kenyan defender

Harambee Stars defender Joseph Okumu is on the radar of Scottish side Rangers FC who are reportedly readying an estimated Sh300 million bid in exchange for his services.

According to media reports in Scotland, Okumu is viewed by the Glasgow club as an alternative to Filip Helander who is being eyed by the English Premier League clubs Aston Villa and Leicester.

“(There exists a) verbal agreement between Joseph Okumu and the club,” wrote Rangers reports.

Okumu has been based in Sweden, at top club IF Elfsborg for the past season. He featured 27 times for the side as they finished second in the league last season.

Back home, Okumu won the hearts of Kenyans for his starring performances at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt as he featured in his team’s group matches against Algeria, Tanzania, and Senegal in the group stage.

He is viewed as a long-term replacement for Mamelodi Sundowns centre-back Brian Mandela.

He is strong on the tackle and comfortable in the air with analysts likening his style of play to that of his mentor Musa Otieno on the local front, or former England defender Ledley King on the international scene.

23-year-old Okumu began his senior football career at former Kenyan Premier League side Chemelil Sugar in 2014 before sealing a high-profile switch to South African club Free State Stars where he lasted two seasons.

He then moved to the US, to Championship side Real Monarchs where he made 12 appearances before joining Elfsborg.

If the move to Rangers happens, Okumu will be the second Kenyan, after Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama, to play in the Scottish league. Wanyama featured for Rangers rivals Celtic between 2011 and 2013.

Former Uganda Cranes forward David Obua also graced the Scottish league with 4-time league winners Hearts FC in 2008. The Scottish league is considered by many a gateway to the English Premier League.