Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane confirmed on Thursday morning that Gaston Sirino wants to join him at the Egyptian club.
But ‘Jingles’, who resigned from Mamelodi Sundowns three months ago to take up a massive opportunity in North Africa, told the SA Football Journalists’ Association (Safja) in an online press conference that the player’s wish has little to do with him.
The Uruguayan also broke his silence over his transfer saga last week when he told the Siya crew that it was his intention to leave Sundowns, though he was also clear that the final decision rests with his employers.
Sirino penned a new five-year deal at the club in June.
“All of you guys know that Al Ahly has been asking about Sirino while I was still at Mamelodi Sundowns, it’s a fact. It’s just a perception that I am the one who wants Sirino at Al Ahly because I am in the hot seat now,” Mosimane explained to Safja.
“It will always link to me. I am not angry with it because it has always been there – you know about it, you wrote about it all the time. I am the one who said to Sirino he should not go and help us win the second star. I was the one. They have always been talking about Sirino over here and it is the first I speak to you guys about it.”
Indications are that Al Ahly will improve their initial bid of R16-million and attempt to get closer to Downs’ valuation, which is understood to be triple (around R50-million) the amount for their talisman if they are to allow him to leave.
The Premier Soccer League transfer window slammed shut on Monday, but the one in Egypt only closes on Sunday, giving Al Ahly just three days to get the deal over the line.
Read: Mahlambi: I Had To Leave
“Yes, Ahly want Sirino and they spoke to Sundowns officially and all that, I don’t want to tell you too many things that have been happening,” Mosimane added.
“The president of Sundowns was here (in Egypt). Danny Jordaan (SAFA president) told me that Dr Patrice Motsepe was with him, but we didn’t meet, probably because he was busy. But you can’t tell me there have never been talks about Sirino at that level, I know because I get the feedback. Sirino wants to leave to come to Ahly.”
Story by @superjourno
Click through the gallery to see Mosimane's recent CAF Champions League triumph with Al Ahly!