The Sunday Mail
WHILE most of the attention has shifted to the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals that kick off this evening, Premier Soccer League clubs have been busy on the transfer market preparing for the resumption of the league in February.
Buoyed by funds from Sakunda Holdings, who availed US$60 000 per year for signing-on fees when they unveiled a mega deal with both Dynamos and Highlanders in September, the two giants could most likely boss the January transfer market.
DeMbare, who had registered two wins in three matches when the league took a break before Christmas, are set to announce four major signings, including 2019 Soccer Star of the Year first runner-up, Ralph Kawondera.
The 31-year-old attacking midfielder, who won the 2021 Chibuku Super Cup with FC Platinum, is set to be joined at Dynamos by veteran striker Evans Katema, who is making a return to the Glamour Boys.
Katema (33) played for Dynamos in 2019 shortly after leaving Mushowani Stars and is now expected back after a stint in Zambia.
Yadah Stars’ trickery winger Issa Sadiki is destined for Dynamos, and so is Stanley Ngala, who is leaving FC Platinum.
DeMbare’s renewal exercise is claiming the scalps of Ali Maliselo, Tinotenda “Kedha” Chiunye, Takunda Mawarire, David Temwanjira and goalkeeper Geoffrey Chitsumba, who is retracing his footsteps to Golden Eagles.
Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya did not give away much, only confirming the club were “negotiating with some targets”.
However, The Sunday Mail Sport has it on good authority that DeMbare have opened the cheque book to try and reclaim the league title they last won in 2014.
On the other hand, Highlanders are targeting striker Obriel Chirinda, who is out of contract at Chicken Inn.
“For now, yes, I can confirm that Chirinda is out of contract, so he could be moving,” revealed Chicken Inn gaffer Joey Antipas.
The Gamecocks look set to replace Chirinda with Cranborne Bullets’ striker Malvern Hwata, whose stock rose during the Chibuku Super Cup group games, where he scored three goals.
“We will recruit some unheralded players who have a lot to prove. For now, we have Malvern Hwata in the bag,” Antipas said.
Premiership debutants Cranborne Bullets have been one of the beautiful stories of the 2020/2021 season, unleashing some fine talent that has so far taken the league by storm.
Right-back Tapiwa Sibanda not only earned a place in the Warriors provisional squad for the AFCON finals, but the Chitungwiza-bred star is also on the verge of sealing a move to title contenders Ngezi Platinum Stars.
“We will keep producing good players,” Bullets coach Nesbert Saruchera said.
Ngezi Platinum Stars also wanted Silas Songani, but the FC Platinum forward has since signed for Vestri of Iceland.
“We wanted him (Songani) but we understand he is going elsewhere.
“Nonetheless, we are not going to make wholesome changes because we have a good team,” said Rodwell Dhlakama, the Ngezi Platinum Stars gaffer.
Financially crippled CAPS United are on the verge of losing almost a dozen players including star man Ronald “Rooney” Chitiyo, whose contract expired on December 31.
Pint-sized midfielder Tatenda Tumba is also reportedly pushing for a move away, with former club Harare City a possible destination.
Some of the players who could be leaving Makepekepe include Leeroy Mavhunga, Munyaradzi Kunyarimwe, Munyaradzi Diro Nyenye and Tellmore Pio, who is angling for a move back to Harare City.
CAPS United are now under Lloyd Chitembwe, who previously had a stint at City, and his influence could result in the Sunshine Boys losing some players to Makepekepe.
Bright prospect Clive Rupiya, speedy winger Emmanuel Mandiranga and veteran defender Marshall Machazane are some of the Harare City players who could follow Chitembwe.
Herentals coach Kumbirai Mutiwekuziwa admits that his side, which registered four points in three matches before the break, needs some touch-ups.
“I am still working on the additions, but true, we need some.
“Look for me end of next week (this week), we will have some new players,” he told The Sunday Mail Sport.
Triangle United could lose coach Taurai Mangwiro to Harare City as well as skipper Collins Dhuwa, who revealed his departure in a Facebook post on Thursday.
“It was an honour. Thank you Triangle United for everything,” he said.
Harare City chairperson Alois Masepe could not be drawn into discussing the Mangwiro situation, but the coach, who is in Cameroon with the Warriors, is tipped for a reunion with his former paymasters.