According to a high ranking Siya source, Kaizer Chiefs striker Leonardo Castro has handed the club his proposal of new contract terms as discussions to get the Colombian to commit to staying at Naturena beyond this season continues.
The Siya crew reported last month that Castro had initially turned down the club’s first attempt to retain his services, but it has now emerged that the former Mamelodi Sundowns forward has since countered with his own demands, which if met, could mean he would remain a Chiefs player beyond June 30 when his contract expires.
But will Chiefs, who cannot bring in a replacement as things stand because of the two-window transfer ban imposed by Fifa, fold?
It’s not unchartered waters for the club to find themselves in a situation leading to protracted contract talks – remember the Itumeleng Khune, Tefu Mashamaite and Mandla Masango saga nearly five years ago? The trio were holding out for improved offers from Chiefs that never came and in the end only Khune, following unsuccessful attempts to move abroad, returned to the negotiation table for a middle ground.
This could be similar.
But the restriction by the world football governing body does add a new twist because, while Amakhosi made it clear they would not be held at ransom by the three players at the time and could go into the market for capable replacements, that option has been taken off the table by Fifa as things currently stand.
Castro was considered surplus to requirements by the club just eight months ago when he was transfer-listed, but fought his way back into contention.
The Fifa ban certainly plays in his favour, especially with Chiefs having already confirmed that midfielder George Maluleka will be joining Sundowns next season after he, too, rejected the club’s offer to extend his stay.
Castro is also not short of offers – the Siya crew revealing that he has recently turned down interest from North Africa, suggesting that the striker is very much undecided regarding the next chapter of his football career.
Will Chiefs fold? Will there be a compromise? Time will tell.
Story by @superjourno