RODRECK Mutuma yesterday sealed an emotional move to bitter rivals Caps United from Dynamos and could face his former paymasters as early as this weekend.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
The lanky striker — a Golden Boot winner in 2012 — signed a two-year contract with an option for further renewal. He was unveiled by the club yesterday.
Caps chief executive Joe Makuvire said they had been following the progress of talks between Mutuma and Dynamos and pounced on the opportunity once it presented itself.
Makuvire said they would announce two more big name signings this week.
“He comes on a two-year deal with an option for further renewal for a year,” said Makuvire.
“We have been rebuilding and these are the final pieces in our rebuilding exercise. The basic team is in place. We want to make Caps United a competitive side. We want to kill the notion that Caps United is a dead institution. We want to show that we are still alive and kicking and we will be unveiling two more massive signings in the coming weeks, a midfielder and an attacking midfielder,” added Makuvire.
The club’s CEO could not divulge the figures involved in their latest transfer deal, but a source confided to NewsDay that Mutuma would receive $10 000 spread over the duration of the contract.
“We prefer that the transfer fee remains confidential, but we should say we have paid a price for it. He did not come cheap. We have been looking for a replacement for Dominic Chungwa and Mutuma is a very good replacement,” said Makuvire.
The former Dynamos striker said he was pleased with the move. “I am happy to join Caps United. I wanted to play for Dynamos, but things did not go according to plan. It will be difficult to face my former team, but that is the nature of the game. I have been employed here to score goals and will try to do just that,” said Mutuma.
Caps United coach Mark Harrison, who got down to business with the club for the first day yesterday, rates Mutuma highly.
“I know him very well. He is perhaps the biggest signing in the league this season. He is a big asset and a tremendous player. If you can have 11 players like him, it will be a very strong squad. We will build the squad around him,” said Harrison.
The former Bloemfontein Celtic striker is now expected to join up with his new teammates at training today – who have also begun life under the English coach who arrived in the country last week.
Mutuma, who had been training with Dynamos in recent weeks, could be in line for his Caps United debut on Sunday when the two teams clash in a friendly match at Rufaro Stadium.
He had, however, wished to extend his contract with the league champions.
That desire, however, failed to bear fruit because of contractual disagreements between his representatives and Dynamos.
The two parties had been negotiating since Mutuma’s contract expired on December 31 and the prolonged contract negotiations put Dynamos coach David Mandigora off.
While Dynamos were still insisting the door was still open for the player to join the club, Mandigora last week said he had already made his plans for the upcoming season without Mutuma.
Meanwhile, Harrison, who finally arrived in the country at the weekend after he was granted a work permit, was in charge of the training session at the club’s training ground in Harare yesterday for the first time.
The former Stoke City goalkeeper missed three weeks of the club’s pre-season training, and has a lot of catching-up to do.
Harrison is expected to finalise on the squad to be submitted to the Premier Soccer League for registration this week.
The team has been under the guidance of assistant coaches Brenna Msiska and Fungai Kwashi in their pre-season preparations in the past three weeks.
There was a high turnout of players who have been trying their luck at the Harare giants including former Shabanie Mine goalkeeper Victor Twaliki, former striker Leonard Tsipa, centre back Charles Mutero, Harare City trio of Arnold Chaka, Witness Nyamutsaka, Tongai Chiworeso, former Shabanie Mine forward Carlos Mesi and Scholar Hadebe who was at Chiredzi FC last term, among others.