Township Rollers might be smiling all the way to the bank if information reaching Sunday Standard is anything to go by. Rollers are reported on the verge of pocketing close to P2 million for the service of their former nimble footed midfielder, Phenyo Mongala, who is on loan to the University of Pretoria side. After banging in two goals against South Africa’s largest supported side, Kaizer Chiefs, in a lucrative Nedbank tournament about three weeks ago, Mongala has attracted a lot of interest from South African big teams.
From the onset, the front runners were Pirates and Sundowns and it is now reported that Sundowns had thrown in the towel.
But come next season, the player will be in Orlando Pirates’ colours. Mzambiya, as he is popularly known, is also a revelation for his club’s fight for Premiership honours next season.
Information reaching Sunday Standard is that Mongala’s manager, who is also the managing director of Township Rollers, Somerset Gobuiwang, was spotted in Johannesburg last week with Pirates officials and among them the team owner, Irvin Khoza. The meeting was seen as putting final touches for Mongala’s deal.
Sunday Standard sources in South Africa also reveal that Mongala was spotted at Pirates offices where he reportedly went to sign a pre contract that is reported to be for three years. When approached for comment, Gobuiwang confirmed to have been to Johannesburg for business but would not want to divulge the details of the trip.
Gobuiwang also could not confirm nor deny that Mongala had signed a pre-contract with the team. “At the moment, I do not want to say more about the player. I want him to be focused and help his team gain promotion to the elite league and we will take it from there. I also want the player to get a contract that will benefit both him and the team. I don’t want a situation whereby he would get more money and does not play or he plays regularly and gets little reward; the situation should balance,” said Gobuiwang.
He also would not dwell much on the P1.7 million price tag the team is reported on verge of receiving from Mongala’s deal. He said the money is news to him.
Sundowns, on the other hand, were serious on the player to the extent that they sent their former coach and now their chief scout, Trot Moloto, to Gaborone to negotiate the deal two weeks ago.
Moloto even watched Rollers lose to Mochudi Centre Chiefs 2-0 in a Premier League game.
Sunday Standard can also reveal that Cape Town teams, Santos and Ajax, were some of the teams that were giving Rollers sleepless nights for the player.
Mongala left Botswana about three seasons ago for another South African Premier League team, Platinum Stars, but was loaned to University of Pretoria because the team exceeded its foreign quota. When his loan expired, University of Pretoria wanted a loan extension from Rollers.
Mongala left at the same time with Moemedi Moatlhaping for Stars and the latter was the one who got a breakthrough at the team, but returned a season latter under mysterious circumstances.
If Mongala makes it, it will be a blessing for Rollers because two of their players, Boitumelo Mafoko and Joel Mogorosi, retuned from the team last season also under mysterious circumstances after signing lucrative deals that were supposed to run for three years.