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Football | Nigeria

Viking target August trials for Akpabio, Loute



Norwegian side, Viking Stavanger, intend to have the duo of George Akpabio and Nigerian-born Benin international, Isaac Loute, in August for trials.

The transfer window opens August 1 in Norway.

SuperSport.com learnt from reliable sources in Stavenger, where the team is based that Viking boss, Åge Hareide, believes both players have what it takes to turn the team around.

“Viking wants strikers from Africa to boost the squad and have identified Akpabio and Loute. The team needs to score goals because they are in the relegation zone.

"The coach has identified the need to look to Africa, which they haven't done before,” said the source.

Former Nigerian league top scorer, Peter Ijeh, spent three years at Viking, after stints in Sweden and Denmark, respectively.

Akpabio’s 12 goals for Plateau United, has made him one of the hottest players in the highly rated Nigeria Premier League.

Viking is desperate to beat other European clubs for his services.

The Plateau United star expressed readiness to make an impact with the Norwegians.

“It’s good to know that a top club in Europe wants me. That means I’ve been doing well in Nigeria. It’s the ambition of every footballer to play in Europe.

“I’ve followed the league in Norway and several Nigerians have excelled there. I’m ready to score goals in Norway,” he said to SuperSport.com.

Interestingly, Loute, who debuted in style when Benin recorded a famous road trip win at Rwanda last year was guest of newly promoted Norwegian side, Sogndal Fotbal, on the eve of the new season.

Loute was brilliant when Sogndal played a friendly against lower division outfit, Lov-Ham, which paraded former Nigerian League top goal scorer and defunct NPA star, Efe Ehiorobo.

Although he’s yet to have contact with representatives of Viking, the Benin international told SuperSport.com that Norway is a good place for an African player to begin the Eurpean adventure.

“Norway is a good place to begin a career in Europe because it’s a place where top European top clubs scout for players. Mame Diouf, who is on loan at Blackburn Rovers from Manchester United, was scouted at Norway’s Molde.

“I was at Sogndal and I hope to make the best of this opportunity,” he said.

The duo are expected to be guests of the Norwegian Embassy to secure traveling visas for trials at the club, which is presently placed 15th on the 16-team log.

Viking has scored only 12 goals in 15 matches and conceded 21.

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