BY TERRY MADYAUTA
FC PLATINUM striker Perfect Chikwende (27) is on the brink of completing a sensational move to Tanzanian giants Simba SC, although sources say rivals Azam are ready to hijack the deal.
Simba were first to open up on their admiration for the former Bulawayo Chiefs striker, who dazzled when the two met in the CAF Champions league first round first leg played at the National Sports Stadium a fortnight ago.
He scored the only goal of the match, but the Tanzanians overturned the result in the second leg, winning the match 4-0 to progress to the group stages of the competition.
While he did not see much action in the second leg as FC Platinum were put to the sword, it appears his performance in Harare was enough for Simba to open the cheque book for him.
They are reportedly ready to part with US$55 000 to get Chikwende, with the striker set to leave for Dar es Salaam today to begin negotiations.
FC Platinum spokesperson Chido Chizondo confirmed to NewsDay Sport that Chikwende’s departure from the club was imminent.
“It’s not yet confirmed which club he is heading to, but for now, we can confirm that he is set leave for Tanzania. Simba have placed their offer, while Azam are also interested. So at this stage, we are waiting to hear the results when he goes there,” she said.
This development is a huge blow to FC Platinum, who are preparing to compete in the Caf Confederations Cup.
Simba appear to be leading the chase for Chikwende’s signature, but a source in Tanzania had revealed that Azam are ready to gazump the deal.
The source said Azam, who have been impressed by the performances of other Zimbabweans in their team, are preparing a better offer for the speedy striker.
A number of South African clubs are also said to be interested in the striker, but he looks set to snub them for the Tanzanian giants, where he would be guaranteed to play in the group stages of the CAF Champions League.
Simba are also assessing two other Zimbabweans — Caps United winger Ian Nyoni and former FC Platinum defender Kelvin Moyo — with the intention to bolster their squad for the African safari.
Should Chikwende opt for Azam, he will join the trio of Prince Dube, Bruce Kangwa and Never Tigere who have already established themselves at the club.
A move to either of the two sides will mean a substantial pay upgrade for him, as Tanzania clubs have been splashing money of late.
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