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Arubi deal done


South African Premiership new boys University of Pretoria have finally landed Dynamos goalkeeper Washington Arubi as former Highlanders skipper Gilbert Banda looks for a switch to the defending champions.

The Dynamos shot stopper — voted Footballer of the Year last season in a memorable campaign in which he helped the club to a league and cup double — had flown to South Africa to seal his move to the club after the Zimbabwean champions were booted out of the Caf Confederation Cup by Angola’s Interclube.

But the move appeared in doubt after the South African club raised concern over his alleged involvement in the Asiagate match-fixing scandal in which several players have also been implicated. Some of them have, however, since been cleared by the Justice Ahmed Ebrahim-led Independent Ethics Committee.

Arubi is still to be cleared and University of Pretoria had raised concern in a correspondence to Dynamos in which they sought clarification on whether the player was cleared of match-fixing before they could sign him on.

However, Kick reported yesterday that the Tuks coach Steve Barker confirmed they had finally signed Arubi ahead of Orlando Pirates striker Chiukepo Msowoya and Prince Olomu of Maritzburg United whom they had also targeted.

“Msowoya and Olomu have both been training with Tuks for the past two weeks in the hope of clinching deals after being transfer-listed at their respective clubs.

“We have had a very good look at Msowoya, but we have decided against the option of bringing him on board. At this stage we have also decided not to sign Olomu because he is still contracted to Maritzburg and both players are not training with us anymore,” revealed the Tuks coach.

“The deal regarding Arubi is done and we just hope to receive the signed agreement from his club today (yesterday). He has been here training with us for some time now and we actually hope to have him available for our first league match of the season,” Barker was quoted as saying.

However, Dynamos chairman Keni Mubaiwa professed ignorance about the development. He said they were still to hear from both Arubi and Pretoria University.

But it is the decision by Tuks to sign the talented goalkeeper which will give Arubi the platform to showcase his talents in a foreign country after several years of trying without success.

The former Highlanders shot stopper, who started his career at Lancashire Steel before moving to Bantu Rovers, went for trials in Finland and Belgium but could not get a contract.

Banda, Zimbabwe’s inaugural captain at the Chan games under Sunday Chidzambwa in 2009, is seeking a move after being released by FC Platinum.

“Gilbert Banda might be going to Dynamos. There are talks going on although the player has also been linked back to his former club Highlanders,” the source said.

Banda yesterday was non-committal about his next move.

“I don’t know yet where I am going, but I am going to finalise one or two things today (yesterday),” Banda said.

He was no longer reachable last night.

Highlanders are likely to be registering United States Major League Soccer returnee and former striker Mkhokheli Dube for the second half of the season.

Former Monomotapa and Chicken Inn striker Daniel Zokoto has also been linked to log leaders Highlanders, with the other option being a return to the capital for Dynamos.

Zokoto joined Chicken Inn at the beginning of the season after returning from the Democratic Republic of Congo’s TP Mazembe where he did not get any game time.

Defender Brighton Dube, who too was sidelined by FC Platinum at the start of the season and joined Chicken Inn, is also said to making the trip to the capital to join former Cup Kings, Caps United.

Chicken Inn have failed to secure the services of Hwange defender Tonisani Sibelo.

The fast-foods outlet team acquired midfielder Ntokozo Tshuma from Platinum and Moodley Njeleza from Southern Region Division One outfit Bantu Rovers.

Caps United defender Ndumiso Khanye is reportedly going to Quelaton together with Hardbody goalkeeper Tapiwa Marime.

Premier Soccer League chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele said they had not received much information from the clubs and would be in a better position to make a comment on the registered players today as the deadline for the transfers was midnight.

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