Sunday, February 8, 2009

Stephen Appiah Offered a Rubin Kazan Lifeline After Tottenham Reject His Demands

Stephen Appiah's chances of a move to North London took an unexpected turn midweek after Spurs rejected the Ghanaian's demands.

"The Tornado", who has been on trial at White Hart Lane for the last month, was widely expected to become Harry Redknapp's sixth signing at Tottenham, but Daniel Levy refused to budge when Appiah issued his demands which resulted in Russian outfit Rubin Kazan offering him a trial.

With the Russian season not starting for another six weeks Appiah will come in at the perfect time for them as preseason training has just begun so his fitness should not be an issue.

Tottenham were rumoured to have offered a pay as you play deal until the end of the season to Appiah, with talks on a contract extension being dependant on his fitness. Appiah has not played a competitive match since November 2007 after a botched knee operation by Fenerbahce club doctors kept him out of the game for an extended period.

Tottenham are not the first team to reject Appiah, but his demands for someone who has not played in over a year came as somewhat of a shock to the club. The Ghanaian's demands are believed to have been £60,000 per week and a two and a half year contract, whereas Spurs were offering a deal far less than these demands.

With the two parties so far apart in their estimations talks broke off and Rubin Kazan stepped in to offer another trial.

Rubin Kazan are an emerging force in Russian football and they won the Russian Premier League in only their fifth season in the top flight. As the surprise package in the league they pipped perennial challengers Lokomotiv Moscow and Dynamo Moscow to the title.

"It is important that I get back to playing actively before the start of the World Cup qualifiers so I need regular action," Appiah said.

"There are other clubs too who are keen and that goes with my desire to play competitively.

"The prospect of playing in the Uefa Champions League next season is very attractive to any player so I had to listen to Kazan.

"The fact that Kazan won the league ahead of two big clubs Lokomotiv and Dynamo shows that they will take Europe by storm and I am excited."

Rubin Kazan are in need of dramatic strengthening and need to sign some "marquee" players if they are to make it to the group stages of the Champions League—never mind the knockout rounds—and are now in pole position to sign Appiah as they look more likely to meet his demands.

twitter / WillieGannon