Onazi, who was in the Super Eagles squad that tackled the Indomitable Lions of Cameroun yesterday for a Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier, was denied work permit by the British Home Office last month thus delaying his ambition of taking his game to the birthplace of modern football.
Birmingham’s Manager, Harry Redknapp had hoped to make the 24-year-old his sixth signing of the summer transfer window, but he was denied an application for a work permit, a decision Birmingham appealed without success.
Onazi has more than 40 caps for Nigeria and was part of the side that won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.
Nigeria’s failure to qualify for both the 2015 and 2017 Africa Cup of Nations affected Onazi’s chances of moving to England. But with the Super Eagles likely to qualify for the World Cup, Onazi believes the coast would be clear for him in January to make the move.
“I am still in touch with the manager, Harry Redknapp, who believes Birmingham would be playing in the English Premiership next season.
“Redknapp first wanted to sign me when he was in charge of Tottenham Hotspur, but for some reasons he couldn’t. He has called me to say he wants big, experienced players to help his team gain promotion back to the Premier League. It is an opportunity for me to get into the system.”
Onazi was in the starting team yesterday as Nigeria took on Cameroun in the reverse fixture of their 2018 World Cup qualifier.