The Herald (Harare)

30 January 2013

Zimbabwe/South Africa: Simba Sithole Undergoes Medical

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.

The 22-year-old forward will undergo further tests, as part of the medical examinations, today 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 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 greenlight, 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 for a further 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 greenlight to get their man.

Yesterday, Sithole began a two-day medical examination, the final step before a deal is officially completed.

"Simba is having his medicals today and he will have more tests tomorrow (today) and, after that, we expect everything to be sealed," sources told The Herald.

"The two clubs have agreed to the deal and there is written correspondence to confirm that but that is subject to Simba passing his medical tests.

"We don't expect any hurdles and, should everything go according to plan, things should be sealed as early as tomorrow (today) or Thursday.

"Personal terms, too, have been sorted out and the player is happy because he knows that he has got a good deal for the next 42 months and there is also a get-out clause and, should he be sold onwards, there will be some benefits for the selling party from Zimbabwe."

Sithole, who was at Pamushana High School just three years ago, will be joining his fourth professional club in his relatively short career as a footballer.

He started his journey at Shooting Stars before arriving at CAPS United at the beginning of the 2011 season carrying a weight of expectations, as a goal-scoring machine, and didn't disappoint as he pushed everyone into the shade at the Green Machine with a superb goal-scoring average that propelled him to the top of the charts.

As expected, he didn't last the distance at Makepekepe, leaving after just five months at the club, to join Mamelodi Sundowns in a five-year deal. Sundowns' officials were so sure that Sithole would provide the fireworks, the same way that Knowledge Musona had lit the blue torch paper at rivals Kaizer Chiefs, but the former CAPS United man found the going tough at the Brazilians.

He never impressed Dutch coach, Johan Neeskens, and his deal was terminated last year, giving him free agency status, which paved the way for a move to Dynamos in the closing stages of the domestic Premiership season. Sithole helped DeMbare power past the final hurdle, to win the league championship and the Mbada Diamonds Cup, and had been registered to play in this year's Champions League for the Glamour Boys.

Given what has been happening behind the scenes, in the past few days, and the pace that the developments have gathered, that now looks a remote possibility with the good money on Sithole to be unveiled as a SuperSport United player either today or tomorrow.

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