Stephen Keshi reportedly wants to earn thrice his monthly salary from his previous contract, as negotiations over his return to the Nigeria national team reaches tipping point.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Tuesday said in a statement that the 52-year-old is expected to pen a new deal “in a matter of days”.
But it appears both parties are in a stalemate as regards to terms of contract tabled before the ex-Togo and Mali representatives.
On Wednesday, Keshi’s media assistant Emmanuel Ado and lawyer Francis Kozah opened contract talks with the NFF in Abuja, in a bid to fast track negotiation processes before commencement of the Super Eagles’ 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier next month.
It has now emerged that the broke football federation will not increase Keshi’s salary, but has handed him a four-year contract that will pay him N5m (about £19,000/ €23,000), same as his earnings in his initial contract.
Media reports suggest the ex-Nigeria skipper has insisted on an improved salary worth between N10m (about £37,000/ €46,000) and N15m (about £56,000/ €69,000) monthly.
Others add that Keshi has demanded his salary be free of any taxes and rather prefers a year’s contract with an option for further extension.
Speaking to Goal.com, the coach’s agents stated categorically that they will not be lured into accepting what they termed a “slave contract.”
“We are ready for give and take, but not a slave contract. We will not sign a slave contract that does not take care of (Keshi’s) interest,” Ado is quoted as saying.
“You media (don’t even know the worth of the coach), I will surprise you. Keshi is bigger than 10 million Naira. Keshi is not a 5 million Naira coach and he will not sign a contract of such value.”
However, the NFF denies reports that Keshi wants about N15m payment and remains confident that an agreement will eventually be reached.
“We have no doubt that we are going to come to mutual agreement which is what the committee has been mandated to present but I will not be able to go into any details about the terms and conditions.”
Keshi’s agents claim Angola, Gabon and Equitorial Guinea are keen on the penmanship of the coach.
Keshi guided the Super Eagles to a third Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) title in 2013 and qualified the nation for a fifth World Cup in Brazil, where they were knocked out in the second round by France.