BY KEVIN MAPASURE
IN-DEMAND Warriors midfield duo of Marvelous Nakamba and Marshall Munetsi have stayed put at their respective clubs Aston Villa in England and Stade Reims in France after both were a subject of interest from English Premier League clubs and touted to feature in the transfer deadline drama.
The duo had been linked with transfers with Munetsi, particularly touted to make a deadline day move to England on Monday night.
Munetsi attracted the interest of Wayne Rooney’s Championship side Derby County, but the more attractive options were Sheffield United and West Brom, according to French Publication RMC (via Get FrenchFootballNews).
Both Sheffield United and West Brom are immersed waist deep into the relegation zone and were looking to strengthen their squads and probably crawl out of the drop zone.
Earlier reports on Monday suggested that there was a scramble for Munetsi’s signature, with Derby having made an offer.
Sheffield United turned to Munetsi after Preston’s Ben Davis chose the Premier League champions Liverpool over the topflight’s basement side.
Munetsi prefers to play at the base of the midfield, but can also slot in at defence.
Before the Sheffield United interest was registered, RMC had reported that Munetsi was close to signing for Rooney’s side.
“Derby County have made an offer to take Reims midfielder Marshall Munetsi on loan,” the publication reported.
“They say Reims are open to the possibility of the 24-year-old moving on loan with an option to buy, but time is ticking away on any deal with the transfer window set to shut at 11pm on Monday night. He started out at FC Cape Town, South Africa in 2015, where he was described as in the mould of a typical Yaya Toure.”
Munetsi is not necessarily desperate for game time, having made 16 appearances so far this season compared to the 17 that he made last term.
Making a move from France to England’s top league would be a major upgrade, but he may have to wait a bit longer to realise that dream.
Zimbabwe’s only export to England currently, Nakamba, was also tipped to leave Aston Villa in search of more minutes on the pitch as he is struggling to hold down a regular starting berth at the Birmingham-based side.
He has so far made two starts and that gave a host of clubs confidence that they could take him away in the January transfer window.
Turkish side Trabzonspor were the first to declare interest publicly, while Newcastle and Crystal Palace registered their interest as the window was about to shut.
Both Newcastle and Crystal Palace were rebuffed by Aston Villa manager Dean Smith, who needs Nakamba as cover for Douglas Luiz and John McGinn.
While Nakamba would have loved to have more game time, he was not interested in a move out of England and would have considered a move to Newcastle or Crystal Palace were it not of his club’s reluctance to loan out or sell.