Asante Kotoko forward, Sogne Yacouba, looks bound to depart the club on a free transfer when his current contract with the club ends in April.
The Burkinabe player has been put on ice frozen out by Coach Maxwell Konadu following the player’s continuous contract tussle with the club, which is believed to have been the reason behind- Kotoko’s refusal to play him since last featuring against Medeama on January 15 in Kotoko’s 0-1 loss to Medeama at Tarkwa in fourth week of the Premier League.
The 28-year-old has been training with Kotoko without playing time since reportedly demanding $150,000 from the club before putting pen to paper to extend his contract.
According to Yacouba’s manager, Jesse Jantuah, Kotoko not only failed to meet his client’s demands but also refused to allow him move to South African side Orlando Pirates who were willing to pay an amount of $300,000 to acquire his signature.
Mr Jantuah, in describing the treatment being meted out to his player by Kotoko as frustrating, revealed also that the club placed an outrageous price tag of $600,000 on the player and further threatened to report the South African club to FIFA for inducement, a moved that killed Pirates’ interest in the forward.
He told the Graphic Sports that with Yacouba’s contract due to end on July 1, he was certain to leave as a free agent since Kotoko had not shown keen interest in renewing his contract and had even refused to field him in matches.
Meanwhile, he revealed also that he had received other lucrative offers from clubs in Africa and Europe but was reluctant to disclose the next likely destination of his client.
“I see their deliberate attempt to prevent Yacouba from signing for a different club as a means of frustrating my client because after failing to meet his demands, they rejected a good offer from Orlando Pirates.
“As it stands now, we have a lot of offers from clubs in Africa and Europe so we are waiting for his contract to expire so he can leave as a free agent,” Mr Jantuah told the Graphic Sports.
Yacouba has been an integral part of the Kotoko set-up in recent times and was one of the best players in the team during their CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup campaigns under former coach Charles Kwablan Akonnor.
However, he has fallen out of favour following stalled talks between his representatives and Kotoko which led to Coach Konadu stating that he was not ready to field Yacouba until his contract issues were solved.
Konadu has continuously defended his decision to exclude him from his squad by branding Yacouba as not mentally focused to feature for the team.
The striker’s name was conspicuously missing from Kotoko’s squad to play Hearts of Oak in a ceremonial match in London on March 7.
“Yacouba is a good player by all standards but when I am managing a team and we have issues to settle, we need to sort those issues out before he can play.
"We want him but we need to sit down and talk. Until then, Kotoko is a team and has to take certain decisions. We left him out of the Hearts match because we felt he was not mentally focused,” the Kotoko trainer was quoted after his 2-1 win over Hearts last month.
Meanwhile, Yacouba has taken to Twitter to voice his frustration by suggesting in a cryptic message that Kotoko would regret the treatment being meted out to him in recent times.
“There will come a time in your life when some people will regret why they hurt you. Believe me this moment will come! Suffering is advice,” he tweeted last Friday.