The Namibian (Windhoek)

Namibia: Want-Away Bantam Staying Put - Isaacs

BLACK Africa has rejected midfielder Bryan Bantam's request for a loan transfer, according to technical director Brian Isaacs.

The playmaker handed in the shock transfer request - believed to be to league rivals African Stars - last week but BA management shot it down.

"He is not going anywhere on loan to any team. He has a contract with us and management said if any club wants him [then] they must buy out [the remainder] his contract," Isaacs told The Namibian Sport yesterday.

Isaacs is of the opinion that Stars coach Ali Akan influenced the player and is trying to prize away one of his star players in a bid to derail BA's charge towards a third consecutive league crown.

Stars lead BA by a solitary point at the midway point of the season, with both sides showing good form in what looks increasingly like a two-horse race for the title.

"I think Ali knows that for him to take our best players is the only way to stop us from winning the league again," Isaacs said.

In his loan application, the unsettled Bantam is said to have indicated that he "was unhappy" but fell short of revealing the source of his sadness. The player was left out of BA's 2-1 derby success over Orlando Pirates on Friday and is unlikely to feature in tomorrow night's clash against Ramblers.

Bantam has been a mainstay in BA's back-to-back title winning teams and had shown no signs of discontent prior to his loan request.

"He is not in the right frame of mind to be involved in any matches for BA at the moment."

Nonetheless, Isaacs said Bantam remains an integral part of his plans and would speak to the player to establish common ground.

"He is a quality player. I must first talk to him and see where we can go from there," Isaacs said.

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