There are growing indications that the Nigerian international may continue in Andalusia despite interest from a host of European clubs in his services
Super Eagles striker Umar Sadiq today, Tuesday, July 12, returned to UD Almeria to join his teammates in the club’s preseason ahead of the 2022-23 season.
Almeria kicked off their pre-season preparations four days ago (on Saturday), but Sadiq was absent, having been granted an extended break for his exertions with Nigeria.
The 24-year-old striker was in the Super Eagles squad that defeated Sierra Leone 2-1 and crushed Sao Tome and Principe 10-0 during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in early June.
On his first day back with the Rojiblancos, Sadiq exercised alone in the gym, away from the other team members. But he is expected to join the full team session shortly.
Still, his continued stay at Almeria beyond this summer transfer window is not guaranteed.
After his incredible two-year spell in Almeria, Sadiq is one of the hottest properties in Spanish football at the moment.
The former AS Roma ace has been on the radar of Sevilla and Real Betis for a while, even as Almeria insisted their prized asset would not depart the Mediterranean Games Stadium on the cheap.
Villarreal and Real Sociedad joined the race for Sadiq recently. It is only a matter of time before a club coughs out the €20 million needed to convince Almeria to do business.
There are clubs outside of Spain interested, including Ajax and Benfica, but Sadiq is believed to be keen on playing in the Spanish La Liga next season.
Almeria appear to have prepared well in case Sadiq leaves this summer. La Union has signed 18-year-old Serbian striker Marko Milovanovic from Partizan Belgrade. Sadiq also arrived in Almeria from Partizan in 2020.
Sadiq scored 18 league goals last term, including the crucial equaliser in the season finale against Leganes, to power Almeria promotion to La Liga.