Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Division One club, New Edubiase United, Alex Ackumey, has asked Hearts of Oak to splash a record domestic transfer fee for the permanent capture of Salim Adams after confirming that Hearts had contacted the club over a long-term deal for the defensive midfielder.
Salim who joined the ‘Phobians’ on loan until January 2022 in August ahead of their CAF Champions league campaign got off to a brilliant start; excelling in trial matches and capping it with an impressive display against Guinean side CI Kamsar in their CAF Champions League opener on Sunday where they won 2-0.
Salim grabbed the second goal for the ‘Phobians’ hitting a stunner after coming on as a substitute.
The early exploits of the 18 year-old has convinced Hearts to make an early move to extend his stay with the future of regular defensive midfielder Benjamin Afutu uncertain after disputed contract talks with the club.
But speaking on Accra based Happy FM on Tuesday, Mr Ackumey asked Hearts to break the bank if they want to win the race to acquire Salim who he described as Edubiase’s cash cow.
“A lot of clubs have expressed interest in Salim; clubs abroad including one in Cote d’Ivoire but we decided that it was best for him to make a name for himself locally before travelling abroad.
“When Hearts expressed interest in taking him on loan, we knew it would be a mutually beneficial relationship.Hearts provided a big platform and with his potential he could also help with their Champions League campaign.
“A lot of investment have gone into Salim ever since we captured him as a young boy from Kumasi who we immediately identified was destined for a great future.”
He revealed that Hearts coach Samuel Boadu’s growing fondness of Salim stemmed from the player’s short stint with Medeama two years ago when Boadu managed the Tarkwa-based club.
“Boadu is very good at spotting talents; two years ago he realized Salim’s talent when he worked with him briefly at Medeama. I’m not surprised he wants him long-term because he knows what he offers.”
He also denied that Hearts arch-rivals Asante Kotoko had approached them in a bid to snatch Salim from Hearts grip.
He, however, pointed out that they were yet to meet Hearts to formally hold discussions concerning a deal.
Salim was a member of the Black Satellites team that won the WAFU Zone B U-20 Championship in Benin last year.
BY NANA BENTSI ODURO