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$50 000 for Banda


Highlanders captain Gilbert Banda’s imminent move to high spending FC Platinum is in limbo after the Bulawayo club is reported to have demanded a huge fee which has been turned down by the Zvishavane side.

A source confirmed that FC Platinum are interested in having Banda but the transfer fee demanded by Highlanders is too much.

“Bosso is in need of money and they have asked for $50 000 for Gilbert Banda. However, FC Platinum have said $50 000 was just too much,” he said.

FC Platinum secretary-general Phil Muwengwa refuted claims that they were interested in signing the Highlanders captain.

“We are not interested in signing him. We have got enough players in the team,” he said.

Contacted for comment, Highlanders secretary Andrew Tapela said Banda was still a Highlanders player.

“Gilbert Banda is still at Highlanders and he is still the captain of the team. He is training and preparing for Sunday’s game (against Zimbabwe Saints),” he said.

The transfer window closes on Sunday. However, a source yesterday told this publication that Banda signed a one-year contract with Bosso at the beginning of the season after the previous deal expired.

NewsDay Sport is reliably informed that he is yet to get his signing on fees after renewing his contract with the Bulawayo club.

Banda is one of the few remaining long-serving members, alongside Bekithemba Ndlovu and Gift Lunga at the club and has been instrumental in two crucial victories this season. He scored in the 1-0 win over Caps United in a league match before scoring the winner again in the BancABC Sup8r quarterfinal.

Last month, the Bosso skipper attended trials at South African side Platinum Stars with former Caps United defender Gilbert Mapemba, who has now joined Moroka Swallows, but coach Owen da Gama said the former Warriors player was too short. He has also been linked to SuperSport United.

Banda played under Platinum coach Rahman Gumbo and is reported to be keen to reunite with the former Warriors coach. At the beginning of the season, Platinum reportedly splashed $65 000 on Highlanders midfielder Joel Ngodzo, who is yet to reach the heights he scaled at his former club last season.

Platinum have Norman Togara, Zephaniah Ngodzo, Daniel Vheremu and Khumbulani Banda in their defence line up while Lincoln Zvasiya and Mthulisi Maphosa can also be used at the back when the need arises.

Platinum have always operated in a denial mode — first denying that the late Benjamin Moyo was going to be their coach, then denying that Gumbo was going to take over before this week’s denial that former Warriors defender Zvenyika Makonese was training with the team.

Platinum have a galaxy of stars, ranging from footballer of the year Charles Sibanda, Thabani Kamusoko, Mernard Mupera, Bheki Ncube, Benjamin Marere to youngsters Ray Sibanda and Donald Ngoma and might need to offload some to make way for new signings.

Former Caps United defender Itayi Gwandu is also seeking a deal there together with two Malawians.
Platinum play Hwange at home this Sunday seeking to increase their lead at the top as defending champions and second placed Motor Action are in active.

Platinum have 36 points, two ahead of the Mighty Bulls who will face Kiglon in a midweek encounter.

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