By Ricky Zililo
Several South African premiership clubs and an unnamed European team have written to Chicken Inn expressing an interest in striker, Clive Augusto.
The forward’s fine form that has seen him win the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League’s April and May Player of the Month awards, also leads the scorers’ chart with an impressive 11 goals from 12 games.
Sources said Golden Arrows, Black Leopards and Maritzburg United have formally written to Chicken Inn and the Gamecocks are expected to make a decision by the weekend.
The source added that Golden Arrows, who have established “good” relations with Chicken Inn, are likely to be given first preference, provided that they table a better offer.
“The club has been inundated with calls and emails for the services of Clive Augusto from South Africa Premiership sides and another one from Europe, which is being kept under wraps. Golden Arrows are at an advantage having dealt with the club before for the transactions of Danny Phiri and Devine Lunga. If they (Golden Arrows) table a good offer they will secure the services of the striker,” said the source.
“Another catch is that the team that will table an offer for outright purchase instead of inviting the player for trials stands to get the nod. Chicken Inn bosses are aware of the strategy used by some unscrupulous clubs, which invite players for trials and influence them to ask for transfers, trying to avoid paying what Chicken Inn wants.”
The interest in Augusto is likely to affect Chicken Inn’s title charge should the player move.
Chicken Inn are also facing the possibility of losing veteran striker Obidiah Tarumbwa, who reportedly wants to join Southern Region Division One League leaders, Bulawayo City.
Tarumbwa is said to be in the last six months of his contract and having been relegated to the bench ahead of the red-hot Augusto, the former Highlanders’ striker has reportedly told the club that he wants to move for the purposes of game time.
Sources at the club indicated that Ngezi Platinum Stars are also keen on landing Tarumbwa.
The Gamecocks are also said to be working on loaning out striker, King Nasama, to ZPC Kariba.
Chicken Inn secretary-general, Tawengwa Hara, could neither confirm nor deny that South African clubs are after their chief striker.
“Chicken Inn FC has established itself as a destination of choice for players because ambitious players know that the club doesn’t stand in players’ ways should they want to move to greener pastures.
“In respect of Augusto, obviously when a player of his calibre delivers that attracts interest of some teams, some make official inquiries, some don’t. If anything materialises for any of the players in our squad we will advise you,” said Hara. The Chronicle