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Sports News of Thursday, 10 August 2017


Torino rejects €8m offer from Birmingham for Afriyie Acquah

Italian side Torino have rejected Birmingham City's €8m offer to sign Ghanaian midfielder Afriyie Acquah from the Serie A side, can reveal.

Torino management just rejected the cash offer on Thursday as the Championship aimed to get Ghanaian international midfielder Afriyie Acquah (25) signed.

The Italian side rejected the offer without giving any reasons for the decision to decline the offer despite initially expressing interest.

Insiders say Torino look to be angling for more cash for the Ghana international with several other clubs in England and Italy said to be interested with the midfielder.

Having played for the Torino since 2015/16 season, the former Sampdoria and Hoffenheim player is currently on a deal with Torino until June 2019.

He was previously linked to Stoke City as well, in a possible swap deal involving Giannelli Imbula, Acquah is also tracked by Italian club Atalanta as well.

The Championship side tabled the offer late on Tuesday night as they sought to grab the experienced player to shore up their midfield and prevent clubs in the Serie A from signing him.

The Italian top-flight are considering the offer from Birmingham as they sought to maximise the revenue if they decide to sell their highly cherished 25-year-old.

Ghana's leading football news outfit understands that Acquah had already accepted the personal terms proposed by Birmingham.

The sticking point remains that Torino must accept the offer by the Blues before they can confidently grab the Ghanaian player who is wanted by top clubs in Italy.

Coach Harry Redknapp has turned to another Ghanaian just one week after Emmanuel Agyemang Badu snubbed his offer to move to Turkey to sign for Bursaspor.

Agyemang-Badu was greeted by Redknapp and Blues director of football Jeff Vetere in Yorkshire and the 70-year-old used Cheikh Ndoye - who would have become Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu's new midfield partner if he had made the switch to St Andrew’s - to pitch the club to him.

The Birmingham City target Agyemang-Badu completed a surprise move to Bursaspor just days after he was pictured chatting to Blues boss Harry Redknapp and director of football Jeff Vetere.

The midfielder was posing for pictures with Redknapp and Vetere outside the John Smith's Stadium last week when his Udinese side took on Huddersfield Town in a pre-season friendly.

Redknapp went to watch Badu in action and even used the opportunity to pitch a potential Blues switch to the Ghanaian star.

The 70-year-old's selling technique included joking: "If anybody tackles you, he kills them", while pointing to the sky, discussing the prospect of Badu playing alongside summer arrival Cheikh Ndoye in midfield.

The public meeting, and Badu's step to rule out a move to Huddersfield who were thought to be interested in signing him, pointed towards a move to St Andrew's.

But the 26-year-old has instead signed for Bursaspor ahead of the new season.

Acquah is seen as the perfect replacement for Agyemang-Badu having played 20 matches and scored two goal for Torino even though he was sent off three times.

The midfielder has spent most of his playing career in Italy as he featured for Palermo, Parma and Sampdoria before joining Torino for €3.1m in 2015.

He also spent a short loan stint with German Bundesliga side with Hoffenheim.

Acquah qualifies for an automatic work permit to play in England as the consistent member of the Ghana national team has 28 caps and one goal.