DURBAN – Bafana Bafana and Cape Town City defender Thamsanqa Mkhize is a player in demand - both here at home and much more overseas.
This much was revealed by his club boss John Comitis this week, the Citizens’ chairman revealing that he has fielded a number of calls asking about the fullback’s availability.
The interest in the Cato Ridge-born player is not surprising given the stellar performances he has produced for both club and country in the previous domestic season and the recently-concluded Africa Cup of Nations finals.
Mkhize was so good for City in the last campaign that he earned a nomination for the Premier Soccer League (PSL) Defender of the Season. At the Afcon Finals in Egypt where Bafana reached the quarterfinals, he started in all of South Africa’s matches, except for that final match against Nigeria where he struggled against the blistering pace of Ahmed Musa, Mkhize was one of the standout performers for Bafana.
“I've received a lot of interest on Mkhize, especially after the first two games (at the Nations Cup). Not much has happened since the last game. And it is understandable because nobody had a good game,” Comitis told Independent Media
“We are still waiting and we are open to offers because it will be to his benefit since he wants to move overseas. If he doesn't, he still has a contract with us and he will continue playing for City.”
Given the key role he has played for City, Comitis would understandably prefer to keep his star defender in his books.
“We would love to have him here but if an opportunity comes we have to consider it. The clubs that have asked about his services are from different parts of the world,” he added. “We have had clubs from Turkey express interest. We have had interest from China and we have had interest from Saudi Arabia.”
It must all be a little bit overwhelming for Mkhize, a player who just four years ago stared down the barrel of the relegation gun with Maritzburg United. The chop survived, he was soon calling the mighty Orlando Pirates his home but before he could take the field in the famous black and white jersey he found himself being declared surplus to requirements by coach Muhsin Ertugral.
On the local front, champions Mamelodi Sundowns are said to be keen on Mkhize.
“Sundowns showed interest a week before the tournament (Afcon) but they have not made any contact with us since.” explained Comitis, who admitted someone would really have to twist his arm twisted to get him to sell Mkhize locally.
“It would have to be an extremely attractive offer, otherwise we won't consider it.”
Meanwhile City have stopped their pursuit of Bloemfontein Celtic’s Ndumiso Mabena.
“Yes, we have given up on Mabena. We gave up a month ago.”@Minenhlecr7