CHRISTIAN Ntouba could be set for a sensational return to Dynamos with negotiations to bring back the Cameroonian to Harare having already commenced.
BY HENRY MHARA
The striker left the Harare giants acrimoniously at the end of April without kicking the ball for the team this season after the club failed to settle his signing-on fees and allowances.
He was owed $16 000, that the club’s sponsor NetOne later tried to settle, but the big centre forward had already made up his mind to quit.
But he had never made his love for Dynamos a secret, and in his first interview after landing in Yaoundé, Ntouba told the media that he would love to play for DeMbare again in future.
It has emerged that the club wants a reunion with a man who spearheaded their attack last season, where they finished on second position, just two points behind eventual winners FC Platinum.
Dynamos secretary-general Webster Marechera told NewsDaySport yesterday that they have started negotiations with the player’s manager Gilbert Sengwe.
“We are making frantic efforts to bring Christian back. There has been an engagement and talks are underway for him to come back,” Marechera said.
Sengwe yesterday confirmed that Dynamos had approached them, although he said “nothing tangible” had been agreed.
Sources said the club’s new management were desperate to win the supporters’ hearts and they believe that bringing back Ntouba to the team, who was the fans’ darling, could help them in that regard.
The two parties were expected to meet again late yesterday for continuation of negotiations.
Ntouba left the country on April 28, after terminating his contract with the club earlier that month when he felt that his welfare was not properly taken care of.
If he returns, as is hugely expected, it would be sweet news to the Dynamos supporters and coach Lloyd Mutasa who have always moaned that his team lacks a proper centre forward in the mould of Ntouba.
Mutasa said the Dynamos’ problems this season, where they are hovering just above relegation zone, are down to a lack of a hitman. Quality Kangadze and Kuda Kumwala have failed to fill into the huge boots of the West African.
While they appear to be making headway on Ntouba, there is also another crisis that the club management is faced with.
Club skipper Ocean Mushure has gone AWOL (absent without official leave) and it appears Mutasa has resigned to lose one of his influential stars while Raphael Manuvire has already left just six months into his two-year contract.
Mushure has not reported for Dynamos training since he was red-carded in the team’s match away to Triangle on June 3.
“Ever since I came back from Cosafa, three weeks to date, he hasn’t been around,” Mutasa said. “I understand he was given a red-card against Triangle, and then he came to training on Tuesday, and from that day up to now, he has never been around. I have been trying to get hold of him, the manager (Richard Chihoro), has also been trying to look for him without success.”
“It’s something that is very worrisome considering that he is the captain of the ship. Obviously, I’m disappointed , you look at Ocean Mushure, he is a leader and he should be representing us (coaches) when we are not there. It’s a pity that we cannot talk much because probably we don’t know the reason why he is not here. I will have to hear his side of the story first. He might be having problems.”
Mushure, the Soccer Star of the Year finalist last year, has been operating below par this season, something that has been attributed to off field problems.
Manuvire on the other hand, handed his transfer request a few weeks ago, and his wish was granted yesterday.
“We have cleared him, and is free to join another club. We parted amicably. He felt he was not getting enough game time, and felt he needed to go elsewhere,” Marechera said.
He is reported to be on his way to Triangle.
There were high expectations when Manuvire joined Dynamos from ZPC Kariba in January, but the highly-rated midfielder has failed to command a regular jersey at the club, and his status reached rock bottom when he was substituted before halftime in the team’s 2-0 defeat against FC Platinum in May.
Since then, he has not featured for the team, with injuries also playing a huge part.