CASTLE Lager Premier Soccer League champions Caps United are haggling with their top forward Simba Nhivi over a contract extension.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
This follows the expiry of his deal with the club on December 31 this year, and while he was registered to play in the African Champions League, he has not been registered for the domestic season, hence, he is not eligible to play a part in the club’s defence of their league title at least for now.
The forward missed the club’s season opener away to Shabanie on Sunday, which ended in a drab 0-0 draw.
The player’s manager Gibson Mahachi said there were issues between the player and Caps United, centering on the contract.
“There are issues,” he said.
“It’s about contractual issues between the player and Caps United. His contract expired and there are issues to be ironed out first.”
Club chief executive Cuthbert Chitima said they had done their best and referred further questions to Mahachi.
“We are just hearing that he (Nhivi) wants to go to Tanzania, but we had agreed with the player on everything. What has been left is just him signing,” he said.
“Since January we have been engaging him over this contract. I think we tried to do our best and I can only refer you to his manager.”
The former Mamelodi Sundowns and Dynamos striker is one of the key players for the Green Machine.
He finished the season as the second highest goalscorer for the club, with seven goals, with veteran striker Leonard Tsipa winning the Golden Boot award after netting 11 goals in a memorable campaign, which saw them winning their first league title since 2005.
However, Nhivi might decide to leave if the negotiations stall.
The attacker has been strongly linked with a move to Tanzania, where Zimbabwean players are flocking in search of greener pastures.
Dynamos and Warriors defender Elisha Muroiwa and teammate Wisdom Mutasa have already sealed deals with Tanzanian club Singinda United and reports suggest Nhivi might follow them to the same club.
Mahachi, however, refuted the reports yesterday.
“The issue has nothing to do with the player attracting interest from anywhere,” he said.
“It is an issue between him and Caps United. There is nothing official about that.”
The striker was instrumental as Caps United qualified for the money-spinning group stage of the African Champions League, after elbowing out five-time African champions TP Mazembe.
The Green Machine held their more-fancied opponents 1-1 away in Lubumbashi, before settling for a goalless draw in the return leg at the National Sports Stadium in Harare to advance on the away goals rule.
Nhivi also scored in the 2-1 victory over Lioli in the African Champions League. Caps United will be fighting on two fronts for the better part of the campaign, as they seek to conquer the continent as well as the local game.
While the Harare giants haggle with Nhivi, they have Tsipa and Abbas Amibu, whom they can look up to in the main strikers’ position.
Caps United have a tricky league tie this weekend against Harare City at the National Sports Stadium, as they seek their first set of three points.