Mid Sussex League side Portslade Athletic are closing in on a sensational move for former Chelsea left back Celestine Babayaro.
The Bulletin sports desks understands the Nigerian international is being linked with a shock move back to the 12th tier of English football in a deal that is set to rock the football world. Babayaro who played over 120 Premiership games for Chelsea between 1997 and 2005 has been attending Tuesday night training with ‘Slade’ and we understand a deal to bring 38 year old in before tonight’s deadline is currently being thrashed out. If completed it would be by far and a way the biggest deal in the clubs history and would certainly leave a lot of pundits scratching their heads. It is thought Babayaro would be open to the switch as he looks to rebuild his career after falling out of favour at LA Galaxy.
Athletic, who play at Victoria Rec commonly known as ‘The Theatre of Wet Dreams’, average home crowds between 6 and 14 depending on whether Gilo brings his kids or not. The changing rooms had a new lick of paint a couple of years back but it will certainly be a stark contrast to the bright lights of The Premier League.
New Slade boss Mike Hornitree explained a move for the left back is something he would love to do. The 64 year old said ‘Babs has been training with us for a few weeks and he loves the bantz. We are currently short of a few players. The little Portuguese fella who turns up sometimes has stubbed his toe again and could be out for up to 9 months, Shaun Bend has got a Mrs and pied us off and current left back Jake Barecum isn’t getting any younger. It is in the chairman’s hands now so if he can get it over the line I will be delighted.’
Portslade officials are set to work into the night with a stumbling block believed to be Babayaro’s inability to pay the £25 signing on fee and £8 match subs. The Nigerian who was declared bankrupt in 2011 is thought to be pushing for the student rate of £15 signing on and £5 subs. It is thought Babayaro is also intent on a clause where he would be exempt from picking up any dog shite off the pitch or having to help take the nets down. It remains to be seen whether or not the two sides can come to an agreement before tonight’s 11pm deadline.