The Herald (Harare)

30 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Simba, Roddie Gone

ZIMBABWE international striker Simba Sithole underwent medicals at SuperSport United yesterday with the deal for him to return to the South African Premiership, which gathered pace this week, now expected to be completed today.

DeMbare have also agreed terms for the transfer of Rodreck Mutuma to Bloemfontein Celtic.

Sithole, the 22-year-old forward, will undergo further tests today as part of the medical exams and if he gets the all-clear, as is widely expected, he will complete his three-and-half-year deal to return to Super Diski just seven months after he left the richest top-flight league on the continent.

The scheduled completion of the deal today will enable SuperSport United to register Sithole with the South African Football Association, just a day before the January mid-season transfer window closes tomorrow, and he will be eligible to play for his new club when Super Diski returns next month.

Sithole's medical examinations began after SuperSport United's offer for the striker was accepted by the Dynamos officials on Monday.

DeMbare officials had a choice to hold on to the striker and use him in their Champions League campaign and then lose him for free when his one-year contract expired in July, or cash in on him now by accepting the financial package from SuperSport United.

While the South African side desperately needed Sithole to join them right now after coach Gavin Hunt decided at the weekend that he would bring value to the team, they were prepared to bid their time and wait to get him as a free agent in July.

On Monday, SuperSport United officially sent their bid to Dynamos and, after a number of meetings, the Glamour Boys officials accepted the package on offer and gave their green light, in written correspondence, for Sithole to join Matsatsantsa.

This marked a dramatic change, in circumstances, for Sithole after he had appeared to have struggled to charm Hunt during the first three days of his trial-period, leading the coach to extend the assessment window by two days.

Then, Sithole, got his lucky break after Hunt decided to field him in a friendly tie at the weekend, as part of the assessment.

The Zimbabwe international striker exploded, impressing with his pace and eye for goal, scoring twice in the process, and converting the coach into an immediate admirer of his talents.

Sithole was scheduled to return home on Monday and was apparently on his way to OR International Airport for the flight to Harare when Hunt decided that he had got his man and ordered that the trip be cancelled as negotiations formally started.

With the end of the January mid-season transfer window looming, the system was fast-tracked and, on the same day, SuperSport United made their official bid for the striker, tabled their financial offer and got the green light to get their man.

There had been speculation that Dynamos had put a prohibitive price tag on lanky striker Mutuma, raising fears the US$120 000 would put off the South Africans.

It also emerged yesterday that the deals were concluded on Monday.

Last night, Dynamos chairman Kenny Mubaiwa, who was leading the negotiations together with board member Bernard Lusengo Marriot and Robson Rundaba, said the duo was set to leave the club and the Glamour Boys would pocket a fat cheque.

Although the chairman could not reveal the figures, The Herald has it on good authority that the duo is being sold for US$100 000 each.

Dynamos, though, do not have sole ownership when it comes to Sithole.

"We are almost done. The stage we have reached, there is no going back for both players. They sent their document and we signed and returned to them," said Mubaiwa.

"We started our negotiations at the range of US$120 000 for each player but the clubs negotiated and we agreed a reasonable figure which l cannot disclose but l can tell you it is a good figure for us.

"The players had running contracts with us and, unlike in previous cases where we did not benefit from the player transfers, this is now better for us as we have pocketed something.

"We are now liquid and we can afford to pay Hwange striker Franscesco (Zekumbawire).

"We had promised Hwange but they felt otherwise and now we will see if we can have the payments sorted by tommorow."

Mubaiwa said they had addressed the issue with their coaches.

"We have also talked to the coaches and tommorow (today) they will give us their names of the other players they want so that we sign them and pay for the late registration before the deadline," said Mubaiwa.

"We now have the money and can afford to pay the registration.

"Remember, we have already lost Aaron Katebe, so we will definitely sign more than two players and it is now up to the coaches to quickly come up with the names of the players.

"We would be depleted in the Champions League as we have lost good players but that is the price of having good players at the club that can manage to get contracts outside the country.

"We have sold them permanently to the South African clubs and we wish them all the best."

Dynamos had been struggling to pay Hwange US$15 000 for a one-year loan fee and the colaminers had insited the striker would only join his teammates in Hwange after DeMbare had paid, at least, half the amount.

Earlier yesterday, Hwange secretary, Burzil Dube, said they were even hoping that the player would feature in DeMbare's Sunday tie against Sundowns, but only after the champions had produced cash upfront.

But Dynamos's finances are set to improve dramatically as Mutuma was their outright player after they bought him from a Lower Division side Sporting Manhenga in 2011.

The tall striker arrived at the Glamour Boys with a bang and finished as the top goalscorer the same year.

However, the striker had an indifferent start to the season last year, especially when Dynamos signed Takesure Chinyama, who was coming from Poland.

But the striker always reserved his best for the last and scored crucial goals for his team in the countdown in the league championship race.

Mutuma also scored both goals as DeMbare won the Mbada Diamonds Cup with a 2-0 victory over Monomotapa.

Sithole returned home last winter after a an unfruitful stint with Absa Premiership side Sundowns.

The former CAPS United striker finds himself at another Pretoria side after helping Dynamos to win a double again.

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