Malawi national football team (Flames) battle-hardened forward Esau Kanyenda has failed to clinch a deal with Angolan top club Kabuscorp SC, where he underwent two-week trials, whereas another veteran defender Elvis Kafoteka is back in the country also without a deal from Thailand.
Kanyenda and his Russian agent Alex Bondarenko on Wednesday claimed that there wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t enough time for him to be assessed by Kabuscorp as the Angolan registration window was also closing at the end of February.
Apparently the ambitious Angolan sideÃ¢â‚¬â€that has also signed former world footballer of the year and Brazilian legend RivaldoÃ¢â‚¬â€ is coached by AlexÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s father Viktor Bondarenko.
KanyendaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s agent was quoted by South African media on Wednesday as saying his client is still holed up in Johannesburg with interest of playing in the South African top-flight league again after nine years in Russia.
“Esau is a free agent and in Johannesburg right now. He is available to join any interested club, but I must emphasise that he is not desperate because this is someone who has been in Russia for the past nine years and so falls into a certain bracket of remuneration.
“The idea is to see him continue to play in South Africa, but if nothing happens then he might as well go back home [to Malawi] to pursue other business interests,” said Bondarenko.
And speaking from Johannesburg Wednesday, Kanyenda confirmed that the Angolan deal had flopped due to time factor.
“According to the coach, they [Kabuscorp] still needed more time to assess me, unfortunately they faced a race against time as they had to return to Angola for pre-season training. I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t fail to make the grade. The deal could not materialise because of technicalities,” said Kanyenda.
Meanwhile, Kafoteka claims he passed trials at Thai Premier League side Bec Tero Sasana FC, but the deal is on hold because the club is offering poor perks.
“I still have a contract with Rwandan side APR and the agreement was that if they would loan me to another team, they [APR] would get the whole amount of my signing on fees, whereas I would be getting the monthly salary.
“Now, The Thai club is offering $3 000 [about K507 000] as my monthly salary from which my agent was supposed to be getting $1 000 [about K168 000]. So, I felt the perks were on the lower side.
“My agent is currently negotiating for a better deal and if the offer remains the same then I am not going back. In fact I was supposed to go straight to Rwanda from Thailand, but I decided to come home to see my kids, but should be returning to Rwanda very soon,” he said.
Another Flames seasoned player Joseph Kamwendo on Wednesday said he is yet to be communicated on the results of his trials by another Thai top club Osotspa Saraburi.
“I have not heard anything yet, I am still waiting,” Kamwendo said on Wednesday.
Locally-based players agent Ben Chiwaya said it is difficult for the Flames old guard to clinch deals considering their ages.
“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s twofold. It could be because of their ages, it might not be that easy to clinch deals, but it could also work to their advantage considering their vast experience,” Chiwaya said.
National coach Kinnah Phiri said he is concerned that some of his experienced players are yet to conclude deals abroad as their inactivity means that they might not be fit for national duty.
“It was very clear that we missed some experienced players in the game against Chad and hopefully they will find teams very soon, even if they join local clubs. I am glad that Joseph is back at Wanderers for now and he is doing well and I would urge the others to follow suit,” Kinnah said.