Mphela, Downs war rages on
Johannesburg - Mamelodi Sundowns and Katlego Mphela seem no sooner to reaching a
compromise that will benefit both parties and get them back in the news
for the right reasons.
The Bafana Bafana striker has not attended the side's training sessions since last week Monday and refuses to return to Chloorkop. He accuses the Brazilians of breaking their promise to allow him to go abroad in this transfer window.
Mphela signed a contract extension in March last year and Sundowns insist he changed his mind about furthering his career in Europe. The club also say they have no intention of holding him hostage in Chloorkop, and should a decent offer surface, they will gladly release their prized asset.
However, Mphela's agent Glyn Binkin, who has been sharing verbal volleys with Sundowns spokesperson Alex Shakoane, revealed the Mamelodi Millionaires have not even set a price for the player.
Shakoane released a statement on the club's official website, which read: "The position of Mamelodi Sundowns concerning Katlego Mphela is the same view that we expressed after the Confederations Cup in 2009, namely that Katlego Mphela is free to join any overseas club of his choice and Sundowns will negotiate in good faith with any club that submits a reasonable and fair offer."
However, Binkin insisted on radio yesterday that the Brazilians' valuation of Mphela has still not been made clear and he has been constantly told to "shop around" rather than negotiate when a bid has been made for the striker.
Shakoane's statement continued: "Katlego Mphela told the club that he did not want to go to Europe and asked for a renegotiation of his contract and a huge increase in his salary which was granted to him by the club.
"Despite the new contract which Sundowns has with Katlego, the Club is still keen to release him because the policy of Sundowns is to release a player who want to go."
The country's key forward explained on Monday he only penned a new deal as he was promised a move abroad if he did so.
However, Sundowns rejected a bid from Partizan Belgrade for Mphela, which was around R12m.
"I had signed a contract extension in August last year but did so because I was once again assured that should the club receive a reasonable offer they would allow me to go abroad," said the striker.
Mphela was seen partying up a storm in Cape Town over the weekend, while Sundowns suffered another blow to their title hopes in a 1-1 draw with Platinum Stars.
The Brazilians believe Binkin is to blame for Mphela's unprofessionalism.
"Sundowns has had problems in the past with Katlego Mphela's agent, Glyn Binkin because of the lies and false statements he makes in the media and which we do not want to dignify with a response," said Shakoane.
Binkin hit back by saying he could not force the player to be somewhere he didn't want to be, much like Sundowns are doing at the moment.
Apart from this saga drawing attention away from one of the most interesting PSL title battles in recent history, it will also be giving Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane a massive headache.
Mphela is South Africa's premier striker and while Binkin says he has been training with a fitness instructor, it will be a massive risk for Mosimane to field the ace against Egypt in March, as his head will no doubt be elsewhere - probably in Serbia.