Bafana top striker 'missing'
Katlego "Killer" Mphela (Gallo)
Johannesburg - Mamelodi Sundowns' goal ace Katlego "Killer" Mphela has gone AWOL, according to a Sowetan
The club's communications manager Alex Shakoane confirmed on Wednesday that Mphela has missed three day's training this week - without any explanation.
Shakoane has, however, put the blame on Mphela's agent Glen Binkin. The club is fuming, accusing Binkin of "messing with the player's head".
"This is not the first time he has done something like this," revealed Tshakoaneon Wednesday. "Last season, we lost the league by a single point to SuperSport United because Binkin was in the player's ear, which made him lose focus."
Tshakoane said: "We are not denying Katlego the chance to go to Europe but we need him to help us win the league this season and then he can go. He has just signed a three-year contract extension, which shows that he is happy here".
Tshakoane added that Serbian giants Partizan Belgrade were interested in Mphela but made it clear that the striker was bound to the club by a contract.
He said Belgrade had offered them "peanuts" but promised to improve the offer.
"For the record, Mamelodi Sundowns would never deny a player an opportunity to go and play overseas, but they are professional players who have contracts with the club," said Tshakoane, who made it clear that the arrangement was that Mphela can only go at the end of the season.
"We spoke to Belgrade's general secretary Darko Grabor and he said they have a striker whom they'll sell at the end of the season and that is when they'll consider buying Katlego. But our message to Binkin is very clear: the player is going nowhere for now."
Said Binkin: "Sundowns have always made promises to Mphela that they have never kept".
"I would never advise a player not to go to training but I understand his frustration because it's the same thing over and over again.
"They turned down a R12.4m offer from Belgrade and after the World Cup, turned down a R17m contract from Birmingham City in England. It's an ongoing thing with them where they always make empty promises."