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Transfer Roundup: Kessié moves to Saudi Arabia, CHAN leading scorer Mahious moves abroad

The summer transfer window is approaching its conclusion but there is still plenty of time for African and European clubs to complete moves to boost their chances at the beginning of the 2023-24 campaign. More details on the latest notable moves are below followed by an extended list of transfers that saw African players change teams:

Click here to see the list of transfers in our previous roundup.

The exodus of top talent continues to Saudi Arabia with Ivory Coast national team star midfielder Franck Kessié completing a move to Al-Ahli in the Saudi Pro League. A €12.5 million fee was agreed between Al-Ahli and FC Barcelona for the transfer of Kessié who could not establish himself as a regular starter for the Blaugrana. Zambia national team striker Fashion Sakala will also compete in Saudi football after completing a move to Al-Fayha for close to €5 million.

There were numerous notable moves involving African clubs, particularly 2022-23 CAF Confederation Cup champions USM Alger. Les Usmistes will have to deal with the departures of notable contributors including African Nations Championship (CHAN) leading scorer Aymen Mahious who is off to Switzerland on a free transfer to Yverdon-Sport following their promotion to the Swiss Super League.

Set piece specialist winger Abderrahmane Meziane joined Mahious out the door, completing a transfer to rivals and reigning Algerian champions CR Belouizdad to compete in the CAF Champions League for the upcoming season. Another Algerian transfer of note is a new destination for mercurial playmaker Youcef Belaïli who moves back home to MC Alger after a season filled with drama in France.

Young African talents Akor Adams and Dion Lopy completed transfers as well with Nigerian midfielder Adams moving from Norway’s Lillestrøm to Montpellier while Senegalese player Lopy moves from France’s Stade Reims to Spanish La Liga side Almería.

Also of note are a couple of moves for South Africa’s Swallows FC. The Soweto club substantially boosted their attack with the additions of Malawi national team star Frank “Gabadinho” Mhango who arrives from AmaZulu. After starring for South Africa at the 2023 COSAFA Cup, forward Tshegofatso Mabasa moves on loan once again from Orlando Pirates and joins Mhango in boosting the attack of Swallows who have big aspirations after narrowly avoiding relegation from the DStv Premiership last season.

See the full list of notable transfers involving African players below.

Transfers of note

Franck Kessié (CIV): FC Barcelona (ESP) ⇒ Al-Ahli (KSA) €12.5 million

Fashion Sakala (ZAM): Rangers (SCO) ⇒ Al-Fayha (KSA) €4.65 million

Dion Lopy (SEN): Reims (FRA) ⇒ Almería (ESP) €6.5 million

Akor Adams (NGA): Lillestrøm (NOR) ⇒ Montpellier (FRA) €4.5 million

Benjamin Tetteh (GHA): Hull City (ENG) ⇒ FC Metz (FRA) €1.8 million

Mohanad Lasheen (EGY): Future FC (EGY) ⇒ Pyramids FC (EGY) €1.03 million

Aymen Mahious (ALG): USM Alger (ALG) ⇒ Yverdon (CHE) Free Transfer

Ayoub El Kaabi (MAR): Al-Sadd (QAT) ⇒ Olympiakos (GRE) Free

Gabadinho Mhango (MWI): AmaZulu (RSA) ⇒ Swallows FC (RSA)

Tshegofatso Mabasa (RSA): Orlando Pirates (RSA) ⇒ Swallows FC (RSA) (Loan)

Abderrahmane Meziane (ALG): USM Alger (ALG) ⇒ CR Belouizdad (ALG)

Hamdou Elhouni (LBY): Espérance ST (TUN) ⇒ Wydad AC (MAR) Free

M’Bala Nzola (ANG): Spezia (ITA) ⇒ Fiorentina (ITA)

Olivier Ntcham (CMR): Swansea City (WAL) ⇒ Samsunspor (TUR)

Youcef Belaïli (ALG): Free Agent ⇒ MC Alger (ALG) Free

Hassane Bandé (BFA): Amiens (FRA) ⇒ HJK Helsinki (FIN)

Ryan Mendes (CPV): Al-Nasr (UAE) ⇒ Fatih Karagümrük (TUR)

Anayo Iwuala (NGA): Espérance ST (TUN) ⇒ Al-Arabi (KUW) €225,000

M’Baye Niang (SEN): Auxerre (FRA) ⇒ Adana Demirspor (TUR) Free

Didier Lamkel Zé (CMR): KV Kortrijk (BEL) ⇒ Hatayspor (TUR)

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