Representatives of coach Stephen Keshi have warned that the 52-year-old will not accept a “slave contract” as negotiations over a return to his Nigeria post continue.
Keshi led Nigeria to win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa as well as the second round at the World Cup in Brazil this June.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) said that they were close to reaching an agreement with Keshi and that he is expected to sign a new contract “in a matter of days.”
However, his agents have told Goal that they will not be pushed into accepting terms that they consider beneath the value of the 52-yeard-old.
Keshi’s media assistant Emmanuel Ado and lawyer Francis Kozah went into a meeting with the NFF on Wednesday in Abuja, hoping to agree terms so that the coach can return to the job ahead of the Super Eagles’ 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers next month.
In his previous contract, Keshi was paid 5 million Naira monthly (€23,000) with media reports claiming that he has insisted on a new contract worth between 10m and 15m Naira (€46,000 – €69,000) monthly.
Ado, however, says he is worth more than such sums, telling Goal: “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.
“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 5m or 10m Naira coach and he will not sign a contract of such value.
“A club in Angola has offered Keshi a monthly salary of $120,000 (€90,000) recently but he has not taken it. So what is 5 or 10m Naira to him?”
NFF spokesman Ademola Olajire told Goal that he is confident that the two parties will reach an agreement eventually. “Keshi has not told us anything around 15 million Naira, I don’t know where this is coming from. I’m not a part of the small panel put together to speak to him but I know that there’s nothing like 15 million,” Olajire said.
“We have no doubt that we are going to come to a 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.
“But having given us a written expression of interest, Mr Keshi is definitely desirous of retaining the position of head coach of the Super Eagles and will be able to come down to the level of the NFF, realizing of course that we are not a multi-billionaire organization.”