Kenyan international midfielder McDonald Mariga gets a lifeline

Kenyan international midfielder McDonald Mariga has found a new club Photo: Courtesy

Towering Kenyan international midfielder McDonald Mariga has received a most needed shot in the arm.

Mariga who became the first Kenyan to play in the UEFA Champions League in 2010 is set to get a new club in the Italian Serie B league, according to media reports in Italy.

The 28-year-old has been a free agent after his club Parma FC was dissolved and demoted due to financial constraints. There are claims the Kenyan international, whose brother Victor Wanyama plays for English side Southampton, is in talks with Serie B sides US Latina and AS Livorno Calcio over a possible move to one of the clubs. “Latina are hunting for reinforcement and are considering experience in the midfield. In their sight, they have McDonald Mariga who could join them on a free transfer. Talks are ongoing and it is a matter of time before the final agreement is reached,” Tuttomercato media reported.

Parma are however rumoured to be interested in re-signing the former Inter Milan player. But this remains doubtful as Mariga who started his playing career at Ulinzi Stars before moving first to Tusker FC and then to Kenya Pipeline while still at school, may be reluctant to go back to Parma. Parma will be starting the new season in the fourth division.

Mariga was a member of the Kamukunji High School ‘Golden Boys’, which also included Kenyan striker Dennis Oliech.

At the height of his career, Mariga in January 2010, was set to sign for English Premier League club Manchester City, but he failed to obtain a work permit which stalled the move.

Then Kenyan Prime MInister Raila Odinga told the media that Mariga obtained a UK work permit but only after the transfer window for the Premier League had closed.