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Udo Nwoko in Portugal to train with U. Leiria

Udo Nwoko has a good chance of landing a high-profile move to Uniao Leiria this summer after the Portuguese club confirmed their interest in the Nigerian-born forward by inviting him for a final trial.

The Times has learnt that the 22-year-old Nwoko, who spent the last five months of this season on loan with new champions Marsaxlokk after joining them from Hibs in an exchange deal for Brazilian Andre Rocha Da Silva, yesterday jetted out to Portugal to link up with Uniao Leiria's first-team squad.

Contacted by The Times, Henry Ekezie, Nwoko's representative in Malta, confirmed that the Nigerian speedster will spent the next 10 days training with Uniao Leiria.

"Nwoko is expected to have a medical test and play some friendly matches during his stay in Portugal," Ekezie told The Times.

These are indeed exciting times for Nwoko whose application to acquire Maltese citizenship has reportedly has reached a very advanced stage. Nwoko is married to a Maltese lady and has been residing in Malta for seven years.

Nwoko, who spent his youth football with Hibernians, will be eligible to play for the Maltese national team once he takes delivery of his Maltese passport.

His chances of earning a call-up by national coach Dusan Fitzel will surely increase if Nwoko completes his transfer to Uniao Leiria.

This is not the first time that Uniao are being linked with a Malta-based player. In January, Uniao Leiria, currently seventh in the 16-team Portuguese Liga, had concluded talks with Hibs to sign Nigerian striker Ndubisi Chukunyere but the deal fell through after the latter failed to secure a visa to Portugal before the transfer deadline.

Edafe talks

Meanwhile, Ekezie will be travelling to Nigeria tomorrow to discuss Uzeh Edafe's potential call-up to the Nigerian U-20 squad for the World Youth Championship, to be held later this year in Canada.

The 19-year-old Edafe, a central midfielder, is now in the closing weeks of his first season with Valletta.

Ekezie also revealed that Uniao Leiria have the first option on Edafe while Athletic Union of Limassol, who play in Cyprus's top division, have also expressed an interest in the young Valletta midfielder.

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