BY HENRY MHARA
SOUTH AFRICAN football league giants Mamelodi Sundowns have publicly stated their desire to sign Warriors star striker Knowledge Musona, but the player’s handlers prefer that he stays in Belgium.
The Smiling Assassin has been heavily linked with a move back to South Africa, amid reports that his contract at Anderlecht could soon be terminated.
A host of Super Diski teams have reportedly shown interest, including his former club Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, but it is Sundowns who appear to be leading the race to snatch the highly regarded striker.
Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane said he would jump at the slightest opportunity of signing the 29-year-old, who is out of favour at the Belgian league giants.
Speaking to the South African media, Mosimane, who said he was looking to sign two attackers in the January transfer window, said, “Would you have Knowledge Musona if he is available? Yes of course why not if he is available.
“He is the kind of player that I would take because I know he scores goals and he is a fighter, you know he is like Khama Billiat – he is strong, his attitude is right, he is a good player, so if we can get him yes why not I would like to have him.”
The rich South African league could provide a soft landing for the star who has endured a tough time at Anderlecht since his move from KV Oostende a year ago, spending part of last season out on loan with Sporting Lokeren.
Musona’s agent Mike Makaab admitted that his client was having a difficult time at the club, and they are working to get him out.
Makaab, however, said he would prefer Musona to remain in Belgium with reports also suggesting that league side Sint-Truiden could offer him an escape route.
“I will be travelling to Belgium this month to sit down with Anderlecht to discuss the way forward. Knowledge needs to be playing, and we are going to look for a way to get him out so he can do that.
“There has been plenty of interest in Belgium, but it all depends on what happens with Anderlecht. We want to get him out, but he is a professional and if they say no, then he will see out his contract and he will keep working hard and wait things out.”
According to a Belgian newspaper, Het Laatste Nieuws, Musona could be involved in a swap deal that will see him and teammate Pieter Gerkens moving to Sint-Truiden, in exchange for Ivorian Yohani Boli.
The newspaper reports that the negotiations were at an advanced stage and a deal could be announced soon.
Musona has had a career to forget at Anderlecht since signing a four-year contract with the former champions in May 2018.
He made just eight appearances for the club in the first half of last season, starting just in three and scoring once. He was loaned out to fellow league side Lokeren for the remainder of the season and made just six appearances, scoring once.
The Warriors skipper returned to Anderlecht at the end of last season, hoping to reclaim his place in the team, which was under a new technical team headed by former Manchester City defender Vincent Kompany.
But it failed to work out, with the striker failing to impress the new coaches. He was not registered in the senior first team squad.
He has been training with the club’s Under-21 team ever since, and a move elsewhere could offer him a fresh start to his faltering career.
Despite being inactive for his club, Musona has remained a vital cog in the Warriors set-up where his influence has continued to grow.
He was part of the Warriors team that participated at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in Egypt last year.
He missed Zimbabwe’s 2022 Fifa World Cup preliminary matches against Somalia in September last year due to an injury, but was recalled for the 2021 Afcon qualifying matches last month.
Musona had a below par performance in Zimbabwe’s 0-0 draw against Botswana but was at his best when he provided two assists for Khama Billiat as the Warriors recovered to beat Zambia 2-1 away to keep their Afcon qualification hopes alive.
Zimbabwe are second in the group with four points, two behind Algeria who have a perfect record.