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Reports: "Transfer farce" stops Anatole Abang's move to Naestved

Looks like RBNY was an innocent bystander in this one, but someone at Naestved is furious with Hobro.

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

If you were wondering why the New York Red Bulls hadn't got around to announcing Anatole Abang's return from exile in Hobro (and Once A Metro had been wondering), it might have been for the very good reason that the club was simply in slack-jawed amazement at the mess the 20-year-old got into on transfer deadline day in Denmark.

SN.dk reports on the "transfer farce" that sabotaged the forward's possible move from Division One (Danish pro soccer's second tier) leader Hobro to relegation-threatened NaestvedPer SN's Simon Ydesen, when the news broke that Hobro had cancelled Abang's loan from the New York Red Bulls, Naestved moved fast to get a deadline-day deal done for the Cameroon international. An agreement was reached with the player, but Hobro could not produce the paperwork required to execute the transfer.

This would be a mere rumor, resting mostly on unnamed sources, but someone posted a scathing assessment of Hobro's efforts on Naestved's official Facebook page.

"I don't have access to a printer and the office is closed" is the most egregious excuse the aggrieved Naestved Facebook administrator attributed to Hobro. After suggesting that allowing a transfer to fail because of such seemingly trivial inconveniences might be evidence of intent to see it fall through (the two clubs are divisional rivals, one should note) rather than incompetence, the post goes on to describe Hobro as "unsympathetic" to Abang's plight.

The player is, per Naestved's Facebook page "now without income and the opportunity to play football for the next five months."

It is possible that MLS or RBNY had a part to play in this: Abang was only on loan to Hobro, so presumably he couldn't simply be sold on to another club without the necessary agreement of the team (or single entity) holding his contract. But Naestved's fury seems squarely aimed at Hobro. As far as (at least) one angry employee of a Danish club is concerned, RBNY and MLS don't have a case to answer here: Hobro is to blame, as is made clear in the comments section.

They got the player to terminate the contract. But "forgot" the rest. You haven't done anything wrong. Just too slow. So ds is the winner. Abang's losing out. It's not illegal.. just nasty and gross.

Oof.

Hobro's side of the story might be along shortly.

Whatever really happened, the outcome is Abang didn't get to make the move he apparently wanted to make. It is to be hoped that in the grip of fury, the Naestved Facebook poster has exaggerated the player's predicament: he surely has a valid contract with RBNY and therefore an income, and maybe even a place to play some soccer for a few months.

If not, that would seem a harsh outcome for a 20-year-old who was one of the last players cut from Cameroon's squad for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. He is an emerging international-caliber forward. He shouldn't be wasting months of his career because one hasty deadline-day deal fell through.

Until or unless RBNY steps in to correct the record, it is OaM's understanding that Abang is still a Red Bull. Absent other options, we assume he will eventually land back in Harrison. Maybe he'll even play a game or two.

OaM is rooting for you, Anatole. This too shall pass.