Financial demands and the fact that he will be out of contract at the end of the current European season was the reason Gambian international striker Momodou Ceesay decided to swap six-time Slovak champions MSK Zilina for Kazakhstan Observer Sports can confirm.
This was revealed by the Slovak side after announcing they have reached an agreement with the two-time Kazakh premier league winners FC Kairat Almaty for the transfer of the former Banjul Wallidan and KVC Westerlo forward on a three-year contract effective from the 1st of February, 2013.
The transfer fee which the club further revealed was 450,000 Euros (four-hundred and fifty thousand) was reached by the parties concerned after negotiations with Ceesay's agency, Novom Klube (New Club in English), the same agency that took him to Slovakia. The Gambian who initially joined Zilina on a six-month contract in June of 2010 spent two and a half years at the Stadion pod Dubnom.
In confirming the deal on its official website, Zilina says the Gambian international will be out of contract this summer and that coupled with his financial demands in negotiating a new deal has prompted his departure from a team whose fans adored him so much. "MSK Zilina striker Momodou Ceesay has left the six-time (Slovak) champions and from the 1st of February will operate in Kazakh team FC Kairat Almaty. Zilina and FC Kairat Almaty (Kazakhstan) have agreed for the transfer of The Gambia striker," the statement reads.
The striker who stands nearly two meters tall was instrumental as Zilina saw off Polish side Litex Lovech in the first qualifying stages of the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League and was at his lethal best as his goals in the playoffs against Czech Republic's Sparta Prague contributed significantly in "one of the greatest achievements in the history of the club", as they advanced to the group stage of UCL.
The Zilina statement further added that Zico as he is widely known in The Gambia in the summer made no secret of the fact that he wants to leave the club and that his request has finally been granted after engaging New Club that also holds his playing rights. "The financial demands of the player and the fact that his contract will end in the summer, MSK Zilina welcomed this opportunity (to open negotiations of his departure). We want to thank Ceesay for the work he has done during his time at Zilina and wish him future career achievements at his new club," it concluded.
FC Kairat Almaty was the first Soviet team to win a European Cup. It happened in 1971 in Almaty, when they beat FC Rapid Bucharest 2-1 and clinched European Railworks Cup, a defunct club tournament now. After the Football Union of Kazakhstan joined UEFA, Kairat played in qualifying rounds of European cups three times, but never progressed a single round.
The team that plays its home matches at the 23,000-seater Almaty Central Stadium in Almaty finished 10th on the Kazakh league table last year and is preparing for the new season that will get underway with a home match against Zhetysu on March the 8th.