Africa's 'Next Big Thing' heading for Glasgow?

25 February 2010 06:02
Tresor Mputu Mabi almost joined Celtic in January but problems with his passport led to the move collapsing at a late stage. We may return for him in the summer but reports suggest that cash-strapped Rangers are also interested in the £2.5m rated striker. Stop laughing at the back there. For at least the last three years it's been predicted that Tresor Mputu Mabi of Congolese champions Tout Puissant (TP) Mazembe would be the 'next big thing' to come out of Africa and according to recent reports both Celtic and the huns are interested in bringing him to Glasgow in the summer. The prolific forward led his team to the 2009 CAF Champions League final, played over two legs in November last year, and they lifted the trophy after beating Heartland of Nigeria on away goals. Now, having won every available honour with Mazembe, he feels it is the right time to move to Europe and his agent says that there is plenty of interest in the captain of the Congo national team.Celtic are reported to have had extensive discussions with Mputu and his club in January and it seems that negotiations were at an advanced stage before the problem with his passport arose. Mazembe spokesman Eddy Kabelu thinks that the problem would have been easily overcome if Celtic had made their approach earlier in the transfer window but he's confident that there will be plenty of interest from European sides in the summer for the striker who was voted player of the tournament in the African Nations Cup last year. Celtic may resurrect their bid to sign the player but it seems that the Huns have also thrown their hat into the ring too. Eddy Kabelu says that the Huns have promised to make a bid in June but the Mazembe spokesman is probably unaware that any correspondence from the debt-laden Ibrox side should be regarded as having all the credibility of a Nigerian banker's email."Rangers say they will come to us in June, and we are waiting for them," said spokesman Kabelu. "But it's not just Rangers who are interested in Mputu, there are also clubs in France, Spain and England who have made enquiries so he'll probably have his pick."Former Cameroon and Congo coach Claude Le Roy once described Mputu as being "the next Samuel Eto'o" and the striker is determined that this year he will finally realise his ambition of playing in Europe. "I'm leaving Mazembe in during the summer transfer window, in June or July," Mputu said. "I understand the fans want me to stay but I need to set off on my career path and come face to face with my destiny."