With Mamelodi Sundowns announcing the “termination” of talks with Al Ahly this week over the possible transfer of Gaston Sirino, the technical team must now make another tough call as the domestic campaign resumes.
It was made clear by the Brazilians on Monday that the want-away midfielder will have to fight to regain his place in the starting line-up.
Last season, Sirino was one of Downs’ best players and was even recognised by being nominated for the Footballer of the Season award, an accolade given to his teammate Themba Zwane, though Sirino’s candidacy was proof of his efforts.
The Uruguayan has been registered by Sundowns for the CAF Champions League and it is understood the only reason he did not play in their opener away to Jwaneng Galaxy in Botswana last week was due to illness.
If he plays in their upcoming matches, Sirino will be cup tied and would only feature in domestic matches for Ahly should they, somehow, convince Downs to sell, despite their stance earlier this week.
Manqoba Mngqithi and Rulani Mokwena, the joint head coaches at Chloorkop, are believed to be willing to bury the hatchet and welcome Sirino back into the fold, though his attitude must change after his head had been turned by the offer from Ahly.
There’s room for his return – with Covid-19 and the travelling Downs will have to do should they qualify for the group stages of the Champions League, it’s expected there will be a lot of rotation and the technical team will need to utilise their squad depth.
An olive branch is inevitable, after all Sirino was such a pivotal player in their treble-winning campaign earlier this year – but the ball is in the players’ court to forget about moving to Egypt and focus on Downs, where he is still contracted for another four years!
Check out how Downs geared up for thier clash against Orlando Pirates this weekend!