Ibou Sawaneh has finally decided to stay with his Belgian club after a failed attempt to leave before the transfer window slammed shut. The goal scorer was heavily mooted to be heading out of Leuven amid interest from Reading, Utrecht and French St Etienne. Talks had even begun over a possible switch to fellow countryman's (Ebrima Bojang) St Etienne, but the deal collapsed on transfer deadline day when the Ligue One outfit opted out of the process.
The forward, currently the most expensive Gambian player, will have to stay another season after St Etienne failed to sign him out of Belgium with his employers, labeling the French club's offer as below their valuation of the attacker. Ibou took to his social site to pledge his commitment to stay for another season shortly after the deal fell through. "Thank God for blessing my career. And I'm happy to stay another season in OHL.
I will work harder. And by God's Grace [I will] do better than Last Season!" the 26-year-old wrote. Tunisian Club Africain had their lucrative offer to the Gambian turned down with Sawaneh keen on thriving in Europe. Champions League campaigners and Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen earlier voiced their desire to make a swoop. In April, a Ukrainian club also failed to meet Leuven's asking price and, in consequence, had their proposal shunned.
The Scorpion signed a three-year deal with Leuven from Mons - a contract that will run till 2015.