It has been coming along for the last few weeks, and now it has been confirmed – Hendrick ‘Pule’ Ekstein has had his contract terminated by Kaizer Chiefs.
The 28-year-old midfielder has been rumoured to be leaving the Amakhosi after being unable to agree to a contract extension at Naturena.
This led to him being left out of the Chiefs team for two matches – against Black Leopards and last Saturday’s Nedbank Cup semi-final win over Chippa United.
Ekstein was back in the starting line-up in the 1-1 draw with Golden Arrows on Tuesday, so it appeared as if the matter had been resolved, especially as coach Ernst Middendorp was a known admirer.
But Chiefs dropped the bombshell late on Thursday afternoon, announcing that Ekstein was no longer part of the club.
“Kaizer Chiefs would like to confirm the termination of contract on mutual consent of midfielder Hendrick Ekstein. The midfielder was promoted from Chiefs Development in October 2013 We wish him all the best in his future endeavours,” the club posted on Twitter.
Player Updates— Kaizer Chiefs (@KaizerChiefs) April 25, 2019
Kaizer Chiefs would like to confirm the termination of contract on mutual consent of midfielder Hendrick Ekstein. The midfielder was promoted from Chiefs Development in October 2013
We wish him all the best in his future endeavours.#Amakhosi4Life pic.twitter.com/3FPsvgCMj0
Ekstein had typed what now turned out to be a cryptic message earlier on Thursday, simply saying “Till We Meet Again” on Twitter.
Till We Meet Again 🙌🙏— Pule Ekstein (@PuleEkstein) April 25, 2019
The Glamour Boys didn’t end there, stating that striker Gustavo Paez and midfielder Kgotso Malope were leaving the club.
“The Club and striker Gustavo Paez have parted ways. Paez joined Kaizer Chiefs in January 2017 and will not have his contract renewed. We wish him all the best in his future endeavours.
“The Club and midfielder Kgotso Malope have parted ways. Malope was promoted from Chiefs Development in July 2013 and has since been sent on loan to various Clubs, including Moroka Swallows.”
Chiefs, who seem to be stuck in seventh place on the log, are back on the pitch on Saturday night against Bloemfontein Celtic at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane (8.15pm kickoff).@ashfakmohamed