Botswana international and Gaborone United (GU) striker Tumisang ‘Teenage’ Orebonye has turned down a two-year deal worth KSh5 million with AFC Leopards.
It represents a first setback for new Leopards boss Rodolfo Zapata in his bid to plunder three players from GU where he is the immediate former head coach.
The Argentine manager told the Leopards hierarchy he believes Orebonye and teammates Dirang Moloi, Godwin Bonsu will form the centrepiece of his Leopards tenure and was duly given the green light to approach them.
Rodolfo’s attempt to re-unite with the trio is reportedly also facing challenges due to the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) rules on quota, meaning he may have to axe current members of the squad to make the moves possible.
Leopards chairman Dan Mule said Rodoflo expressed great interest in signing them but denied any offer had been made yet.
“He told us he (Orebonye) is a very good player so we asked him to try and contact but as a club we have not made any formal communication to Gaborone United or the player,” Mule told Citizen Digital.
Moloi is reportedly top on Zapata’s wish list. The 33-year-old has accumulated a wealth of experience following domestic stints at Notwane, Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Township Rollers as well as the defunct Vasco Da Gama (now Stellenbosch FC) of South Africa.
In an interview with the local press, Zapata paid glowing tribute for Moloi, saying he is ‘overqualified’ for the Botswana Premier League (BPL) and is ‘one of the best players Botswana has ever produced’.
“We are still in talks, he is a good player with a lot of potential and I hope Leopards will manage to bring him on board. He is an asset,” Zapata is quoted saying.
Orebonye, who was reportedly offered a KSh2.5m-a-season deal by Leopards, is being courted by Botswana giants Township Rollers but could prefer a move to South African Premiership side Maritzburg United according to local reports. [citizentv.co.ke]