imhons Erons, Soccernet.
Super Eagles goalkeeper Maduka Okoye will move to Premier League side Watford at the end of the season, Dutch side Sparta Rotterdam have confirmed on their official website.
The Rotterdam-based side will reportedly receive around seven million euros for Okoye, which will make the Nigerian shot-stopper the most expensive sale in the history of the club.
Before Okoye’s move, the most expensive player sale in Sparta’s history was completed in 2008 when Marvin Emnes departed for Middlesbrough for €4 million.
Okoye joined Sparta on a free transfer from German lower division side Fortuna Dusseldorf in 2020 and quickly became the undisputed number one for club and country.
Highly rated as one of the best goalkeepers in the Netherlands following an excellent debut season, Okoye extended his contract with Sparta until 2025, with Dutch giants Ajax reportedly among clubs keeping a tab on him.
But Watford have moved quickly to confirm Okoye’s signing, and the Hornets have agreed to let the 22-year-old stay with Sparta until the end of the season.
Watford and Sparta have agreed to reveal no further details about the transfer fee involved in the deal, but the technical director of the Dutch side Henk van Stee confirmed it is a massive figure.
“The only thing I can say about it is that it is an amount that cannot be refused for Sparta for an outgoing transfer,” he said.
Okoye kept his first clean sheet of the season at the weekend against Willem II, and he disclosed that it was after the encounter that he travelled to England to ink the contract papers.
The goalkeeper, who could not hide his delight at moving to one of the world’s most glamorous leagues, said: “After the game against Willem II, I prepared myself for the international matches in Nigeria, but in the meantime, I went to England to meet Watford. That went very quickly because I had to join the national team a day later.
“Of course, I am very proud that I can play in the Premier League, but also that I can play at Het Kasteel for our fans until the end of the season. Of course, I really wanted this, but I also want to close it well with Sparta and that is why this is the best choice.”
Okoye has made 43 appearances for Sparta’s first team, conceding 57 goals while keeping 12 clean sheets.