Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt reacts during a match. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt reacts during a match. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Xola Mlambo gestures during December's Telkom Knockout final against Bloemfontein Celtic. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Xola Mlambo gestures during December's Telkom Knockout final against Bloemfontein Celtic. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG - Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt is upset with his former player and Orlando Pirates' new acquisition Xola Mlambo.

Pirates announced the signing of Mlambo on Twitter on Monday morning. The star midfielder hardly featured for the Clever Boys this season, making only four appearances for Wits. But Hunt expressed his unhappiness in the manner in which Mlambo left the club.

“I’m upset with him. He didn’t even come to say goodbye to us. He just left. But I think it is a good deal for us if we look at his age. We sold him to Pirates and there’s no swap deal. He was injured for the most of his time with us. Last season he only played regularly in the first round and didn’t feature that much in the second round. Other players came in his place and did well in his absence," Hunt said.

Mlambo will compete with the likes of Abbubaker Mobara, Thamsanqa Sangweni and Issa Sarr in the middle of the park for the Buccaneers.

Mobara, meanwhile, is set to remain with Pirates.

“We wanted him but we are not going to get him this season. Pirates want to keep him,” Hunt explained.

Mobara didn’t feature for Pirates against Platinum Stars at the weekend and this fuelled speculation that he was going to move. But the club's administrative manager Floyd Mbele disputed the talk of the Capetonian moving.

"He is not going to Wits ... Yes, there are formal talks between us and Wits about the possibility of getting some of the players from them and they also want players from us. But we will make announcements once everything is done,” Mbele elaborated before the announcement of Mlambo. 

"The problem is that people are speculating. It is not right for the players because some of them can’t handle this rumours. We as a club don’t entertain such rumours."

Mbele also dismissed rumours linking Pirates with Andile Jali and Phakamani Mahlambi.

"The fact that we said we wanted a striker, now everyone is linking us with all the strikers. You can be creative, but people shouldn’t present speculation as facts. Mahlambi is not allowed to move to another club because of Fifa rules. So how are we going to sign him? We are not even sure whether he is there on loan or on a permanent deal,” Mbele concluded.

The Star

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