Super Eagles prospect, Noah Okafor was denied a dream move to premier league giants Manchester City after Basel signed him on a three-year extension and the Nigeria Football Federation must act fast or lose him to Switzerland.
The 18-year-old, who came through the ranks at Basel, recently signed a 3-year extension at the club to keep him until 2023. His new deal effectively killed interest from the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan and Manchester City.
“The approaches have not changed but I am very happy where I am at the moment,” Okafor revealed. “I believe it could’ve been [the reason Basel offered a new deal] but it has always been my childhood dream to play for the main team of FC Basel.”
Noah was born in Binningen to a Nigerian father and Swiss mother is rated as one of the best youngsters in Europe and the Switzerland national handlers are keen on drafting him into the senior team.
A source close to Okafor revealed in a chat with SportingLife: “Okafor is a special talent and he is open to play for Nigeria. But I must say that the Switzerland federation wants him to play for them and have made contact with him.
“No decisions have been made on Okafor’s part but he is open to the idea of playing for Nigeria. He knows (Gernot) Rohr likes young players and took one of the youngest team to the 2018 World Cup. So, fingers crossed.”
Noah Okafor has made 15 league appearances this season with two goals to his credit.
Born in Binningen, Switzerland, Okafor is of Nigerian descent. His father is from Nigeria and his mother is Swiss.
Okafor played his first football by local team FC Arisdorf. In 2009 he moved to FC Basel continued through all the teams of their youth academy. On 31 January 2018, Okafor signed his first professional contract with his club.
He played his debut for their first team on 19 Mai 2018 in the home game against FC Luzern. Trainer Raphaël Wicky substituted him in for the injured Mohamed Elyounoussi in the 34th minute and the game ended in a 2–2 draw. He scored his first goal for his club in the second round of the 2018–19 season on 28 July 2018 in the 1–1 away draw against Xamax.
Okafur played various international games for the Swiss U-15 and U-17 teams. He played his first game for the U-18 team on 9 May 2018 in the 1–1 draw against the Italian U-18 team.