Premiership champions Chicken Inn could lose another key player amid revelations that South African outfit Golden Arrows are on the verge of signing the Gamecocks’ captain Danny Phiri. By Petros Kausiyo – HERALD
Danny Phiri of Zimbabwe battles with Abdelsalam Omar of Libya during the 2014 CAF African Nations Championships Semi Final
Phiri, who is also the captain of the home-based Warriors, has been on the Golden Arrows radar for several months before impressing them during a trial stint at the club last month.
With his compatriots — strikers Michelle Katsvairo and Edmore Chirambadare — having been unveiled as the latest signings by Kaizer Chiefs on Monday, Phiri is now set be the latest player from the championship-winning Gamecocks side to seal his move to the ABSA Premiership.
The midfielder’s manager Gibson Mahachi revealed last night that he was working on finalising a deal that could see Phiri becoming a Golden Arrows player by the end the week.
Mahachi, who has been busy in the last month as he moves to secure contracts for a number of local players, said Arrows had already opened discussions on a possible contract for the Warriors international.
“The official position with Danny is that we are working on negotiations that are currently in progress with Golden Arrows,” said Mahachi.
“He went there for trials last month and they were impressed with what they saw and what we are basically doing now is to discuss the best possible deal and I am sure by the end of the week we should have concluded.”
Phiri, who is one of a few locally-based players to command a regular place in the Warriors African Cup of Nations squad, was a stand-out player for Chicken Inn as they marched to their maiden Castle Lager championship title under the guidance of Joey Antipas.
The midfielder was subsequently voted the Castle Lager Soccer Star of the Year for 2015.
His performances for both the Warriors and Chicken Inn naturally attracted interest from foreign clubs, but it appears it is Golden Arrows who are now poised to sign Phiri.
Golden Arrows are also home to exciting Warriors winger Kuda Mahachi.
“Like I said they saw him when he went for trials and since then they have always retained interest in him and I think if all goes well Danny is joining Golden Arrows,’’ Mahachi said.
The respected player manager also said he could by the end of this week also complete contract talks for a possible move for Warriors first choice goalkeeper Tatenda Mukuruva.
Mukuruva is attending trials at Maritzburg United who also have to shake off interests from Free State Stars and some National First Division clubs interested in signing the Dynamos goalkeeper.
“As for Tatenda, we have been getting a lot of offers, but we are looking at a deal that will ensure that whichever club he joins, he is guaranteed game time.
“It must be remembered that Tatenda is the Warriors’ first-choice goalkeeper and it is in the best interests of his career that if he is to move from Dynamos, he finds a club that also guarantees him game time.
“I think the picture on Tatenda and Maritzburg United will become clearer tomorrow. Most of the South African clubs are currently busy looking for players in time for the transfer window and I understand that Blessing Moyo (Harare City defender) is also there at Maritzburg United, so we have not seen the last of the player transfers yet . . . there is more to come.”
Striker Evans Rusike was voted the best player at Maritzburg United for the 2015 /16 season. There have been reports, though, that the forward could move to champions Mamelodi Sundowns or Kaizer Chiefs.
“Maritzburg are battling to keep Evans Rusike, but if the big boys such as Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns or Orlando Pirates come knocking on the door it may prove difficult to keep him at the club,’’ said a source.
Another Zimbabwean international who could secure a move to South Africa is winger Talent Chawapiwa amid relations that newly promoted Highlands FC and Platinum Stars are both keen on the player.
Should he join Highlands, Chawapiwa would link up with veteran goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini who helped the side gain promotion from the National First Division.
The 24-year-old ZPC Kariba winger can virtually be unplayable on his day and it is understood that South African scouts were monitoring his game during the just-ended COSAFA Castle Cup in Namibia. The Herald