ZAMBIA defender Stoppila Sunzu has suffered a double tragedy, moments after the Chipolopolo got ejected from the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) as English Premiership side Reading FC confirmed they will not be signing the lanky defender, at least for now.
Reading manager Brian McDermott said yesterday that the move for Sunzu was off for now and and that the struggling club would now concentrate on surviving relegation.
Giving a comprehensive statement on the team's activity in the players' market ahead of the closure of the transfer window tonight, McDermott said this transfer window was out for Sunzu but did not give further details.
He also gave an in depth club activity in this January transfer window which involved nine players.
Three players have left the club, while five have arrived at the Royals with one remaining a mystery target.
"It's been ongoing, and I can't see it happening in this window," he said when asked about the possibility of signing Sunzu who starred for Zambia in the botched AFCON title defence crusade.
Sunzu's transfer to Reading was a deal that was too close yet too far with hitches being encountered at every level the latest being a statement from his Congolese club TP Mazembe boss Moses Katumbi claiming Sunzu's handlers had misinformed reading the player was a free agent.
And just when the team was headed to South Africa for camp ahead of the Afcon, Sunzu headed north to Reading so that the club could have a look at him before committing to signing him and on his return, he claimed all went well and passed try-outs.
Mazembe claim that Sunzu is under contract until 2015, while his representative Paul Carew maintains that the player's contract with the 'Ravens' ended last year in December and that he was, therefore, a free agent.
Carew has since appealed to Mazembe to return his contract to Sunzu so that his client's move to Reading can be concluded before the British mid-season transfer window that closes tomorrow.
"Stoppila is upset that things are dragging on. He signed a three-year contract with TP Mazembe and now that it is up to him if he wants to move on.
"Mazembe are refusing to give Sunzu his playing contract which he has requested in writing to prove that he is a free agent,"Carew told Skysport.com