Nigeria's Michael Babatunde joins relegated Qatar SC

By Oluwashina OkelejiBBC Sport, Luxembourg
Nigeria's Michael Babatunde
Nigeria international Michael Babatunde will be wearing the yellow and black colours of Qatar SC next month

Nigeria international midfielder Michael Babatunde has ended a five-month stint in Morocco to join second-tier side Qatar SC for $1.1 million.

The 23-year-old only joined three-time African champions Raja Casablanca in January from Ukraine's Dnipro.

He is set to join the relegated Doha-based side next month and will earn $3.2 million over the next three years.

"Qatar SC has a strong desire to return to the topflight and I hope to make a big contribution," he told BBC Sport.

"It has been a beautiful journey with Raja Casablanca and five months there looks like five years already because of the love shown to me.

"The truth is that my story with Raja is not finished yet as I hope to return to play for the club again in the future."

He joined Raja in January from the 2015 Europa League runners-up Dnipro and scored four goals and made 13 assists in 14 appearances.

The player's agent, Nureni Makanjuola, believes the midfielder, who has 10 caps at international level, will depart Raja Casablanca on a positive note.

"Babatunde will leave Casablanca next month but he hopes to depart on a positive note," he said.

"This club has been incredibly supportive and he plans to return there before the end of his professional career."

Babatunde, who made his international debut against Mexico in June 2013, played for Nigeria as they beat Mali 1-0 in a friendly in Rouen on Friday.

He also represented his country at the 2013 Fifa Confederations Cup and the 2014 Fifa World Cup.

One of Nigeria's standout performers at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, he suffered a fractured wrist in the final group game against Argentina.

He underwent surgery and missed the rest of the World Cup before a lengthy spell on the sidelines kept him out of international football.

But a fit-again Babatunde returned for the Super Eagles in a 2-0 win against Chad in June 2015 - in what at the time was an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier but was later cancelled when Chad withdrew from the 2017 campaign.