Simba Bhora close in on Mutudza’s signature

Simba Bhora officials have refused to open up on their transfer business, but club director Simba Ndoro told NewsDay that they are hoping to make significant changes to their squad.

PREMIER Soccer League side Simba Bhora are closing in on FC Platinum midfielder Juan Mutudza who is their prime target ahead of next season.

The ambitious Shamva-based team are plotting a major overhaul of their squad as they aim to win the Premier League title next season.

They have secured the signature of former Soccer Star of the Year Walter Musona from FC Platinum, a deal which is set to be announced on January 1.

Sources say Simba Bhora will soon raid the Zvishavane based side again, with Mutudza's deal said to be "as good as done."

The attacking midfielder's contract expires on December 31.

"Jean (Mutudza) is one of the players top of coach Tonderai Ndiraya's wish list. They have worked together before and his qualities are unquestionable. Negotiations started a long time ago, and the parties have agreed on almost everything. It is as good as done," the source said.

Simba Bhora officials have refused to open up on their transfer business, but club director Simba Ndoro told NewsDay that they are hoping to make significant changes to their squad.

He said they want to strengthen the squad by adding as many as 10 "top quality" players to their squad.

The mining tycoon revealed they have officially snapped up Triangle striker Wilson Mensa who scored seven goals for the relegated Lowveld side last season as well as Harrison Masina who won the Eastern Region Division One Soccer Star of the Year and Golden Boot Awards. He scored 19 goals for Hunters FC.

Former Warriors goalkeeper Talbert Shumba has signed a pre-contract with the club while negotiations with Bulawayo Chiefs' pacey forward Billy Veremu are also said to be at an advanced stage.

Simba are also said to be monitoring the situation with Dynamos' Junior Makunike, and are keen to add him to their ranks.

The young sensation who is tracked by a number of local clubs is reportedly set for trials in Europe.

"We are negotiating with a number of players, and as soon as we are done, we will announce. What I can say, though, is that we will shock a lot of people," Ndoro said.

"People are going to be surprised by the calibre of the players that we will be unveiling.

"We are targeting about 10 top quality players because we want to fight for the league. We want to win the league next year, that is our main target. We don't want to just make up the numbers in the league. We want to compete with the other teams for the title. If a team like Ngezi could do it, what can stop us?"

Buju, as Ndoro is known, said their plan was also to retain all their best players from last season. Striker Tymon Machope, who was the biggest revelation for the club last term after joining during the mid-season transfer window, has already extended his stay by signing a new two-year deal. Machope scored a staggering seven goals in 12 appearances for the team, exploits that saw him attracting the attention of a number of clubs including giants Dynamos.

The departure gates at the club could be just as busy, with at least 15 players expected to be laid off when the transfer window open in a fortnight.

Simba Bhora had a decent debut season in the top flight last season, finishing on position twelve on the log standings.

Buju said he was happy with how the team performed considering that they played their home matches away from their home ground, Wadzanai Stadium, which is under renovations.

The stadium is currently being revamped to a 10 000-seater and the club's leadership is hoping that it will meet Premier Soccer League standards for it to host topflight matches.

Ndiraya's men initially used the National Sports Stadium in Harare for their home matches before relocating to Baobab Stadium in Mhondoro-Ngezi, when the giant facility was shut for renovations.

Buju blamed some of their struggles last season to fatigue, caused by the constant shuttling between games every week.

But with Wadzanai Stadium set to be complete and ready for use next season, the club is looking forward to a successful campaign.

"Considering that next year we will be playing our home matches in Shamva, we are more than motivated and there is no reason for us not to dream. The chances of winning the league are massive. We showed a lot of potential in our first season so we just need to build on from there," he said.

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