AIK director addresses Erick Otieno speculation after Celtic link

By David Walton

June 8, 2022

AIK sporting director Henrik Jurelius has confirmed that there has been no concrete interest in Celtic-linked Erick Otieno as he admitted his own surprise.

Last week, it was reported by Fotboll Direkt that Celtic had an eye on the player. It came after a big 12 months for Otieno in which he had solidified himself as the first-choice left-back in Stockholm.

He continues to be a regular and produced a fantastic goal-winning assist in last week’s win against Helsingborgs.

Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images

However, despite the transfer window getting set to open, AIK have shot down the idea that there’s any firm interest in the player.

Speaking in an interview with Expressen, Jurelius said: “We have some players who have done well and we expect there to be interest in these players during the transfer window. A player like Bilal Hussein who has done a year and a half now at a high level. He has performed well, but there are other players who have done so. There is an interest.

“He [Otieno] is also a player who has delivered at a very high level. He has had high peaks during the year and it is a bit surprising that there is not more interest in Otieno.

“It’s always a tough decision [to sell] but we have to make that decision about our possibilities. It’s very difficult to speculate on a deal when you have no idea about the size and the bids. It can be very difficult to make a decision in a squad in just a few weeks.”

AIK sporting director dismisses Erick Otieno interest

When asked straight up by Expressen whether there was solid interest in Otieno, Jurelius responded with a simple “No”. Clearly, there’s nothing further to discuss regarding a potential transfer at the moment.

Otieno isn’t the only Sweden-based left-back we’ve been linked with this summer either. Expressen reported last month that we had scouts in attendance to watch Mohanad Jeahze of Hammarby. Things appear to have gone a touch quiet since then, but it’s evident Celtic are monitoring their options.

Left-back is perhaps the number 1 priority for the club heading into the summer window. The thought of not providing any competition for Greg Taylor doesn’t bear thinking about. Ange will be demanding it, but as of yet, it isn’t particularly clear who will receive the call.

MARIBOR, SLOVENIA – 2021/07/29: Martin Milec of Maribor and Mohanad Jeahze of Hammarby are seen in action during the UEFA Europa Conference League Second Qualifying round, Second Leg match between NK Maribor and Hammarby IF at Stadium Ljudski vrt in Maribor. (Final score; NK Maribor 0:1 Hammarby IF). (Photo by Milos Vujinovic/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Otieno likely wouldn’t be too costly. Jeahze, meanwhile, would cost a reported £2m [Scottish Sun]. So long as whoever we sign can come in and compete straight away, fans won’t be too fussed over what direction we go down.

It’s interesting to note that both Jeahze and Otieno have yet to experience UCL football. Granted, the latter has a ton of international experience at only 25 years of age after accumulating 34 appearances for Kenya [Transfermarkt].

It still feels as though it’s early days in our left-back pursuit in any case. It’ll be interesting to see if any more names get added to the list of potential options.

In other news, Report: The low release clause in Celtic-linked Mohammed Abu Fani’s contract