By Ricky Zililo
Highlanders are working around the clock to tie down senior players, goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda, defender Peter Muduhwa and Gabriel Nyoni to new contracts.
Bosso, who finished the season in fifth position, are hoping to wrap up the deals before the festive holidays.
The trio and winger Godfrey Makaruse’s contracts expire at the end of the month and it appears the players have been dragging their feet to put pen to paper hoping to get improved deals.
Highlanders’ chief executive officer Nhlanhla Dube said negotiations with the players are at an advanced stage and is hopeful agreements will be reached soon.
“We have secured the bulk of our squad and negotiations are ongoing to extend contracts with the players that you’ve asked about (Sibanda, Muduhwa and Nyoni). Our hope is to have concluded all the deals before the festive holidays. You’ll also appreciate that the debate about the change of season also has an influence on negotiations we are having,” said Dube.
Sibanda had a brilliant season for Highlanders in which he was crowned the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Goalkeeper of the Year in addition to being among the 11 Soccer Stars of the Year.
The Bosso shot stopper kept 16 clean sheets.
Muduhwa has reportedly courted interest from Ngezi Platinum Stars, who unveiled former Highlanders’ coach Erol Akbay as their head coach last week.
Chicken Inn gaffer Joey Antipas is also fond of the defender.
Rumours have also linked Nyoni with a move to Caps United.
Besides the quartet of Sibanda, Nyoni, Muduhwa and Makaruse, Highlanders are also closing in on former midfielder Nqobizitha Masuku.
The former Bantu Rovers and FC Platinum midfielder, who had a brief stint with Zambia’s Buildcon, impressed coach Madinda Ndlovu when he trained with Bosso towards the end of the season.
Dube confirmed that they are working on Masuku’s file.
Highlanders have also reinforced their squad ahead of next season’s kick-off by adding young striker Prince Dube and former National Under-20 captain Bukhosi “Zakhu” Sibanda.
The pair had unfruitful stints in South Africa where Dube terminated his contract with topflight side SuperSport United, while Sibanda cut short his stay at National First Division side Ubuntu FC. The Chronicle