Africans on the move in Europe

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Boulaye Dia in Afcon action against Equatorial GuineaBoulaye Dia played regularly as Senegal won their first Afcon in February 2022

Africa Cup of Nations winner Boulaye Dia has left Spanish club Villarreal for Serie A side Salernitana on loan, while compatriot M'Baye Niang has joined newly-promoted Ligue 1 outfit Auxerre in two of the notable transfers involving African players.

Dia, 25, starred for the Teranga Lions in Cameroon and only missed the semi-final win over Burkina Faso as Senegal claimed a maiden continental title in February.

Having arrived from French side Reims last July, the forward scored seven goals and provided six assists in 35 appearances for Villarreal in an injury-hit campaign.

"It's a fresh challenge for me and I just want to get straight into business without setting any limits," he said.

The Italian club have the option to formalise a permanent move next summer.

Capped 17 times by Senegal, Dia is hoping to play in his first World Cup in Qatar later this year.

Meanwhile, Niang, 28, made his tenth move in a decade, joining Auxerre from relegated Bordeaux.

The well-travelled striker's signing comes just a few days after Ghana international defender Gideon Mensah, 24, also agreed a three-year deal with the 1996 French champions.

Born in France, Niang started his career in the French lower divisions with Caen's second team before graduating to the first team.

He then went on to play for another French club, Montpellier, and three Italian sides, Milan, Genoa and Torino, whilst also featuring in the Premier league for Watford in the 2016/2017 season.

Capped 23 times, Niang has scored four goals for his country including one against Poland at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

But he has not represented Senegal since November 2019.

Fourth move in two years for Samatta

Belgian side Genk have confirmed the return of Tanzania captain Mbwana Samatta from Turkish club Fenerbahce on a season-long loan.

Samatta, 29, left Genk for Aston Villa in January 2020, becoming the first Tanzanian to play and score in the Premier League on his debut against Bournemouth.

He also scored in the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City, but those were his only two goals for Villa before his move to Fenerbahce in September 2020.

Unsettled in Turkey, he played on loan at another Belgian side, Royal Antwerp, last season.

After managing 17 goals in 88 matches for three clubs, Samatta will be hoping to shine again at Genk, where he scored 70 goals in 191 games.

Stallion rides into Marseille

Manchester City defender Issa Kabore has joined French side Marseille on loan with an option to sign permanently next summer.

The Burkina Faso international, who featured in February's Afcon semi-final defeat against Senegal, joined the Premier League champions in July 2020 from Belgian side KV Mechelen but is yet to make a single appearance for Pep Guardiola's side.

His move to Marseille is the third loan of his time at City following after previous spells at Mechelen and Troyes.

Marseille have also snapped up Mali's Soumaila Traore from Djoliba in his native country.

The 18-year-old, who has signed a three-year contract, will play for Marseille's reserves in the French fifth tier.

Elsewhere, Ghana's Majeed Waris has joined Cypriot side Anorthosis on a two-year deal.

Waris, 30, became a free agent after his contract with French club Strasbourg expired.

Capped 31 times by Ghana, Waris was top scorer in Sweden in 2012 after 23 goals for BK Hacken and has also spent time in Portugal, France, Russia and Turkey.

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