ZAMBIA defender Stoppila Sunzu's long and winding deal for him to move to struggling English Premiership side Reading FC is all but done with his Congolese Club TP Mazembe remaining as the only hurdle.
Sunzu yesterday even joined the rest of the Chipolopolo players camped in Nelspruit, South Africa, in readiness for the start of the defence of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title.
According to the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ), Sunzu claimed to have passed the assessment test at Reading and agreed personal terms for his transfer but that it was now left to TP Mazembe to finalise the deal with the Royals.
Sunzu told fazfootball.com that "Everything went well. I'm happy because I passed the assessment and it's now up to TP Mazembe and Reading to finalise the deal.
"When they do that, I will sign the contract right here during the Africa Cup."
Mazembe president, Moise Katumbi said he was happy that Sunzu had passed his test at Reading and that he never doubted the strong defender.
The Mazembe website reported that Sunzu was expected to sign his deal before January 31 when the transfer window closes.
But sources said that the prohibitive transfer fee of £4 million being demanded by the former African champions may prove to be the spanner in the deal.
Sunzu arrived on a morning flight yesterday and was immediately rushed to the Confederation of African Football 2013 AFCON headquarters at Emnotweni Sun Hotel in Nelspruit for the tournament accreditation which he missed as the rest of the team did in the morning when the defender was between Johannesburg and Nelspruit.
TP Mazembe are demanding a whopping £4 million for the transfer of their best player of the 2012 season which comes awkwardly too much for a player coming straight from Africa and also especially that Reading have bought the captain of Portuguese giant Sporting Lisbon for a much lesser fee.
As TP Mazembe are putting a prohibitive price tag on the 23-year-old's head, Reading are at the same time signing much cheaper players like Daniel Carrico, a defender-cum-midfielder who was captain for Sporting Lisbon for £650,000.
As the deal pends, his would-be team mates like midfielder Jem Karacan are already excited at the prospect of getting him, saying Sunzu would be a great signing for the club.