Kris Graham, the president of Lightning board of directors said in the club’s first statement since Mhlauri was linked with the Warriors job, that it was the club’s wish for him to stay and grow with the club.
The United States club is reported to have tabled another offer to the former Warriors coach in a bid to make him stay but the club refused to reveal the figures involved.
Zifa has offered Mhlauri a monthly salary of US$10 000 to take charge of the Warriors and the US club is aware of the carrot dangled for their director of coaching.
“Charles Mhlauri is our Director of coaching. We are lucky to have him, as he has been very instrumental in our success, with some of our teams leading in their age group regionally and our club growing exponentially.
“We are aware that he has been offered the position to coach Zimbabwe.
“It is our desire to have him live and continue to grow the club here (United States),” Graham said in a statement.
However, the revelations that Lightning Soccer Club still wants Mhlauri to continue in his role at the club’s director of coaching raised the question of whether the coach would join the Warriors anytime soon.
Mhlauri, who sits on the Lightning board of directors as an ex-officio member, has remained mum as the drama plays out in public.
Although Zifa insists that Mhlauri is going to join the Warriors, they would also be the first to admit that bringing him back will come at a cost for the cash-strapped football association.
Mhlauri, who was owed money by Zifa when he left his post in July 2007 to be later replaced by Brazilian Valinhos, has also set conditions, which the association need to meet before he agrees to resume his romance with the Warriors.
These include an advance payment of his package as part of measures to safeguard him against costs that come with the coach having to relocate from the United States. The association will pay for the relocation of Mhlauri’s family.
Zimbabwe, who are in Group A in the Nations Cup campaign, will resume their qualifying battle with a tough away assignment against Mali in Bamako at the end of March. The association hopes Mhlauri by then, would have agreed to come back home for another dance with the Warriors.
The Warriors are currently under the stewardship of Madinda Ndlovu.