Nwabali: New destination emerges for Nigeria keeper

Chippa United and Nigeria keeper Stanley Nwabali is set to join Belgian club Royale Union Saint-Gilloise.

Nwabali has been the subject of interest from several clubs, including Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Al-Hilal, and Al-Ettifaq.

Nwabali rose to prominence following his standout performances for the Super Eagles during the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2024) in Ivory Coast.

He was one of Nigeria's best performers in their second-place finish. He played in every game as the Super Eagles progressed to the final of the AFCON, with their only loss coming against the host nation, Ivory Coast.

Nwabali: New destination emerges for Super Eagles goalkeeper
Photo by Icon Sport

Sources close to the player and Chippa United indicate that Belgian clubs have expressed interest in Nwabali, but they have yet to make a formal offer for his services.

 Royale Union Saint-Gilloise are reportedly in search of a goalkeeper to fill the void left by Maxime Wensenns, who is said to be considering a transfer to Turkey in the upcoming summer window.

Royale Union Saint-Gilloise emerges as front-runner for Nwabali's next move amid European Interest

With the upcoming summer transfer window looming, discussions about his next destination have intensified.

A source close to the player and the club shed light on the situation to Soccer Laduma, indicating a strong likelihood of Nwabali's move to Royale Union Saint-Gilloise in Belgium.

“It is obvious he won’t be at the club next season. It all depends on management and where they want him to go. You know there has been local interest, but the only team that has come forward is Royale Union Saint-Gilloise from Belgium. For now, we can say they look like the favorites unless something happens along the way. It is not a done deal, but it looks promising compared to the other ones at the moment.”

The source continued, stressing the momentum behind Nwabali's potential European move, stating, “The Europe move looks more certain than in the DSTV Premiership at this point. Everyone in his corner is pushing for a move to Europe. Now with this, Royale Union Saint-Gilloise is the one in the forefront to get him. Let’s wait until the end of the season to see what is happening with his move.”

The Public Relations Officer of Chippa United confirmed that there is interest from various clubs in securing the services of the Nigerian player. “Yes, there are few offers but we can't talk much about it right now,” he said.

The 27-year-old has made 27 appearances in South Africa's elite league this season, recording 10 clean sheets while conceding 17 goals.

Affectionately known as Bobo, he joined Chippa United in 2022 from Katsina United. Before that, he had played for Lobi Stars, Enyimba, Wikki Tourists, and Go Round FC.

Chippa United have purportedly set a substantial R30 million ( €1,470,990 million) valuation on the goalkeeper.

Nwabali set to follow in the footsteps of Victor Boniface at Royale Union Saint-Gilloise

With Nwabali's anticipated move to Royale Union Saint-Gilloise, he is poised to become the second Nigerian player to grace the club's ranks in recent years.

Following in the footsteps of Victor Boniface, who joined the Belgian outfit in 2022 from Norwegian club Bodø/Glimt.

During his tenure at Royale Union Saint-Gilloise, Boniface made a significant impact, featuring in 37 Pro League games.

Victor Boniface @ Icon Sport
Photo by Icon Sport

His contributions were impressive, with nine goals scored and eight assists provided. Such performances garnered attention beyond Belgium's borders, ultimately leading to a lucrative deal with Bundesliga club Bayer 04 Leverkusen after just one season in Belgium.

Boniface has moved on to aid Leverkusen in clinching their first Bundesliga title in the club's history.

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Godfred Budu

Godfred Budu, a Ghanaian sports journalist, brings a dynamic perspective to the field with over a decade of experience. Having contributed to esteemed platforms such as Kickgh.com and Inkandkicks.com. Godfred is recognised for his insightful commentary and in-depth analysis of African football.
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Godfred holds a degree in Integrated Development Studies (Social and Development Administration option) from the University for Development Studies, Ghana.