New twist in Solano deal

COLCHESTER United's interest in Nolberto Solano has taken a new twist after the former Premier League star was quoted in the Peruvian press as saying a six-month deal with the U's has been concluded.

Stuart Watson

By Stuart Watson

COLCHESTER United's interest in Nolberto Solano has taken a new twist after the former Premier League star was quoted in the Peruvian press as saying a six-month deal with the U's has been concluded.

After helping Universitario to the Peruvian title at the start of last month, Solano - who once had a trial at Watford under current U's boss Aidy Boothroyd - flew to England and spent the week before Christmas training with the U's.

The Peruvian international flew back to South America on Christmas Eve, with some early reports stating that a deal had been agreed. However, U's boss Boothroyd claimed that such reports were 'premature' over the festive period and that the midfielder would return in the New Year for a further spell of training before any decision was made.

Now, Peruvian newspaper El Comercio claim to have interviewed Solano at Lima airport prior to his flight back to London.

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“I'm going for six months to play for Colchester United,” the former Newcastle, Aston Villa and West Ham player is quoted as saying.

“Talks are already at an advanced stage and I'm travelling to complete the deal. It's a lovely opportunity at 35 years of age to still be considered. My plan is to end my career as a coach and look for work there (in England).

“If I can play another year so much the better.”

Earlier reports from Peru, this time from the Andina news agency, had already quoted Universitario director German Leguia confirming that a deal had been concluded.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for Solano, because he would remain close to his children who live with their mother in Greece,” said Leguia.

“We wish him good luck in Colchester and hope he has a successful campaign as he did in Universitario, where he gained the respect of fans and was the player who sold more shirts this year.”

Meanwhile, Turkish club Ankaragucu have paraded their replacement for Colchester United bound Ian Henderson - Cameroon international Geremi.

The 31-year-old, whose last appearance for Newcastle came back in October, was presented to fans in the country's capital Ankara, while the club's official website announced he had signed an 18-month deal.

Turkish Super Lig side Ankaragucu signed former Manchester City and England striker Darius Vassell, as well as former Norwich City player Ian Henderson, last summer.

But Henderson - a former England Under-20 international alongside the likes of James Milner and Tom Huddlestone - now looks set to sign for Colchester this month after he trained with the League One club last week and was spotted warming up with the U's players ahead of their FA Cup match at Preston on Saturday.

- For regular Colchester United updates, follow Stuart_Watson on www.twitter.com

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