Three players have been shortlisted for the flagship award which is set for January 5 next year.

The trio namely Gabonese midfielder Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Riyad Mahrez and Sadio Mané  made the cut following votes from Head Coaches or Technical Directors of the National Associations affiliated to CAF, Media Committee, Technical & Football committee and a panel of Media Experts.

Egypt international Mohammed Salah, who plays for Roma and Algeria and Leicester City striker Islam Slimani couldn't make the final three

The winners will be unveiled at the Glo-CAF Awards Gala on Thursday, 5 January 2017 in Abuja, Nigeria.

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Aubameyang who won the award last year is in pole position to retain it after scoring 25 goals in 31 games last season and continued his goalscoring form this season by racking 16 goals in 15 games in the Bundesliga.

He will face stiff competition from Ryad Mahrez who beat him to the BBC Player of the Year award. Mahrez has been quiet this season, failing been able to replicate the performance he put up to propel Leicester City to a historic Premier League. However, the feat he chalked in the 2015-16 season by emerging as the first African PFA Players Player of the Season is enough enable him beat the Gabonese international to the award.

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Senegal's Mane would fancy his chances too, even if the connoisseurs think otherwise.

The 24-year-old netted 11 times in 37 league games for Southampton last season, before crossing carpets to Liverpool, for whom he has eight goals in 16 league matches thus far this term.

For the African Player of the Year (Based in Africa), Ugandan Goal Keeper is in contention with the Zimbabwean forward Khama Billiat and the Zambian Midfilder Rainford Kalaba

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