THE much anticipated return of former Highlanders striker Mkhokheli Dube has fallen through after the player reportedly demanded $2 500 as monthly salary. The cash-strapped Castle Lager Premier Soccer League log leaders turned down Dube’s demands and instead settled for ZPC (Hwange) gunman Cleopas Dube and former captain Tapuwa Kapini’s younger brother Takunda Sadiki.
The second transfer window closed at midnight on Tuesday but free agents can be registered outside the window.
Another player who had been training with Highlanders, Thabani Moyo, who was with Cypriot Division Two side Chalkanoras Idaliou, also failed to secure a contract largely due to what sources say is his arrogance.
Moyo has reportedly been playing hide and seek with club authorities despite being told that he carried an injury that needed the attention of doctors and for the club medical team to assess and treat him, he needed to be on the club books.
Last week, respected Highlanders doctor Xolani Ndlovu had told Chronicle Sport that Moyo’s injury was treatable.
“Dube was almost certain to get a contract with Bosso but he demanded an unheard of figure at Highlanders leading to the club putting emergency brakes to the discussions. Maybe the player also was not sincere as at the time of the conversation with Highlanders, he was already at the airport,” said a source.
Highlanders’ secretary, Andrew “Squad” Tapela declined to comment about the failed deal, choosing instead to stick to the done deals.
“I can only comment about players that we have signed which I can confirm are Cleopas Dube who is a striker and Takunda Sadiki a midfielder. Both players are on a three-year contract with us as per club policy,” said Tapela.
Dube returned home from his new US Major League Soccer side Chicago Fire last month and recently went for trials with South African Premiership newly promoted outfit Pretoria University.
He was officially signed by Chicago Fire in January this year from New England Revolution, but failed to make any appearances for the side in his brief spell at the club.
He had previously spent three years with New England Revolution between 2008 and 2011, scoring 14 goals in 72 appearances.
With Mthulisi Maphosa set to miss the Quelaton derby match on Sunday, young Sadiki is likely going to be tasked with the big task of replacing the general.
Maphosa is part of the three Highlanders players and 25 in the league who will not see action this weekend as a result of suspensions for picking up three yellow cards.
Graham Ncube and Atlast Musasa are the other two Highlanders players who are suspended although Musasa, signed from Black Mambas this year, should have been disciplined by the club as his third yellow card was uncalled for after he remonstrated against the referee from the bench during the Hwange match.
While the referee on that day, Mlindeli Ndebele, could have left his cardinal points somewhere, Musasa’s behaviour was totally uncalled for.
Interestingly enough, his former paymasters, Black Mambas, have the highest number of suspensions this weekend, four in total. By Sbue