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Potloane transfer in limbo

by Lesotho Times
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As Linare demand hefty fee from Matlama for gifted midfielder

Mikia Kalati

Mabuti Potloane’s move from Linare to Matlama has hit a snag as the two Premier League giants are failing to agree on a fee for the talented midfielder, the Lesotho Times can reveal.

Linare sources yesterday told the Lesotho Times that the Hlotse-based outfit are demanding at-least M50 000 for the 2013/14 Vodacom Player of the Season, which Matlama are not willing to pay.

According to the sources, the Linare management feels the team should get the best deal possible for their captain, who grew up at the club, but was suspended indefinitely last month for alleged indiscipline.

“Matlama want the player, who is already training with them, but are not prepared to pay the amount Linare have requested. In fact, Matlama have suggested paying M10 000 to have Mabuti for the rest of the current season and then renegotiate for his permanent move at the end of the campaign. The other thing is Matlama feel the M50 000 Linare are demanding is too much, considering we are halfway through the season,” said one of the sources on condition of anonymity.

Matlama Public Relations Officer, Mota Nkhethoa, admitted yesterday that there were still “outstanding issues” which have delayed the signing of the national team midfielder.

“We have had negotiations with Linare and what is only left is for us to pay what they are demanding for the player,” Nkhethoa told the Lesotho Times.

“You have to understand that Mabuti and his teammate  Kopano Motaung  came to our club on their own after they had been suspended by Linare; we did not chase after them. What we then did was go to Linare and explain that the two players wanted to play for Matlama, hence the fee issue has become a concern.”

However, Nkhethoa said Matlama were hoping to sign Potloane—who played for Matlama in last weekend’s friendly match against South Africa’s Free State Stars, which Tse Putsoa won 1-0 at Setsoto Stadium—before Sunday’s LNIG quarterfinal first leg match against Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) at Ratjomose Barracks Ground.

“The situation has become very tricky, but we are still confident of signing not only Potloane but also Motaung,” said Nkhethoa.

On the other hand, Linare vice-president, Tankiso Sehlabaka, told the Lesotho Times that the ball was now in Matlama’s court regarding Potloane.

“We have held several talks with Matlama over the player and we are now waiting for them to come back to us so that we can conclude the deal,” Sehlabaka said.

“At the moment, Potloane remains a Linare player and it’s only after Matlama have come back to us that we can say something different.”

Sehlabaka also confirmed that Tse Putsoa had even suggested taking the player on loan until the end of the season.

“We have been told Potloane only wants to leave us on a loan basis and we have told him to write to us and explain the whole matter. So all I can say is the matter is in the hands of Matlama and Potloane to communicate with us,” he said.

Meanwhile, officials from the two clubs were not willing to reveal any figures regarding the player.

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