Thursday, October 28, 2021

Higlands Park, Rollers in player swap deal talks

South African National First Division (NFD) pace setters Highlands Park and Township Rollers are allegedly in talks over a potential players swap deal.

The promotion chasing Highlands Park is said to have cast an eye on the lanky Rollers and Zebras defender Simisane Mathumo and are willing to offer former Rollers midfielder Lebogang Ditsele in exchange.

According to sources close to the deal, Highlands Park are seeking to strengthen their squad ahead of the rigours of the second round of the SANFD league and have singled out Mathumo as the player they need.

The South African outfit are said to have already approached the player and agreed personal terms, with the player said to have also undergone successful medicals in Johannesburg a week ago in the hope that the clubs will strike a deal before the transfer window closes this week.

Mathumo is said to have impressed the Highlands Park technical team during his trials and they have since made his signing a priority during this transfer window.

Highlands Park gaffer Owen Da Gama is a known admirer of the Rollers centre back and tried to lure him to Ajax Cape Town whilst he was still a coach there. Da Gama even invited Mathumo for trials at the Cape Town based club last season but the deal failed to materialise.

While Highlands Park are said to have proposed a straight swap deal, Rollers on the other hand are said to be holding on for a player plus cash deal.

“Mathumo just signed a two year contract with Rollers at the start of the season and still has 18 months remaining on his contract. While Highlands Park seeks a swap deal, Rollers is eyeing for a top up as the player’s signature is in demand from a couple of teams in the South African leagues. Mathumo went for medicals a week ago and the deal might be sealed just before transfer window curtains close,” a source revealed.

In an interview with Sunday Standard Mathumo confirmed he went to Highlands Park recently but shied away from divulging the details of his visit.

“It is true that I went to South Africa but at this point I cannot reveal the purpose of my visit. There has been interest from South African clubs but at the moment there is nothing concrete,” he told Sunday Standard.

Reached for comment, Rollers’ Public Relations Officer (PRO) mouthpiece Bafana Pheto said he is only aware that Highlands Park has shown interest in the player’s services. “Highlands Park has shown interest in signing the player but for now nothing concrete has emerged,” shortly said Pheto.

The same sentiments were echoed by the team’s General Manager Sydney Magagane said they are still awaiting communication from Highlands Park as they had shown interest in assessing the player.

“Highlands Park had asked us to release the player for assessment a week ago and he went to South Africa for three days. Since the player’s return from the club they have not communicated anything concrete yet,” said Magagane.

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