BY HENRY MHARA
WARRIORS star midfielder Marshal Munetsi was reportedly set to beat the player transfer deadline last night to move to England with two English Premier League (EPL) sides Sheffield United and West Brom United his possible destinations.
Reports last night suggested that Championship side Derby County had also made a formal offer to Munetsi’s French Ligue 1 club Stade Reims, although a move to the EPL was most preferable.
The January transfer window which opened on January 2 closed at 11pm last night.
The 24-year-old, who has done well for Reims this season, was expected to make the huge leap to the EPL and join fellow Warriors star Marvelous Nakamba who plays for Aston Villa.
French publication RMC (via GetFrenchFootballNews) yesterday claimed that Sheffield United — Warriors legend Peter Ndlovu’s former club — along with West Brom and Derby, were interested in signing the towering midfielder.
The publication reported that all the three clubs had made enquiries for his availability. It was Chris Wilder’s struggling Sheffield United, according to the reports, who were in front of the queue as the club tries to bolster the squad to fight against relegation.
Sheffield United, who are bottom of the EPL log currently, failed to land any of their reported targets last month.
No comment could be obtained from Munetsi or his handlers last night, but according to a website Sheffieldunited.news, United turned to the midfielder after they failed in their bid for defender Ben Davies of Preston who was set for a surprise move to Liverpool.
The Zimbabwe international is a defensive midfielder, but can also play as a central defender.
Before Sheffield, it was Derby County who were believed close to signing the player.
RMC had earlier reported that Munetsi was on the club’s radar with the Wayne Rooney-coached side desperate to sign the utility player.
“Derby County have made an offer to take Reims midfielder Marshall Munetsi on loan,” wrote RMC Sport.
“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 Touré,” the report read.
Rooney also confirmed on Saturday that he is looking to bolster squad before the close of the transfer window.
“There will be players coming in in the next 48 hours,” the Manchester United legend said after the Rams 1-0 victory over Bristol City.
Munetsi joined Reims in 2019 and while he struggled for game time in his debut, he has established himself in the first team this term.
He made 17 appearances all season last year compared to 16 he has already made this season which is approaching the halfway mark.
He missed the team’s last two matches due to a muscle strain.
Munetsi started his career at South African First Division side FC Cape Town in 2015 before moving to Orlando Pirates in 2015. The club briefly loaned him to Baroka United.
The talented footballer is a key member of the Warriors squad, and although he missed the team’s back to back Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Algeria at the end of last year due to an injury, he is expected to return to the fold when the qualification campaign resumes in March.
Zimbabwe are away to Botswana on March 22 before hosting Zambia a week later.
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