THE Premier Soccer League (PSL) mid-season transfer window curtain came down last Thursday while the big one, the European Professional Football League transfer deadline, is still open until September 1.
By Brian Nkiwane
The summer transfer activity so far confirms Spain’s big two clubs as the ultimate destination for the world’s best players, with James Rodríguez and Luis Suárez making headline signings for Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.
The Uruguayan striker moved to Barcelona for a £75m fee while the second biggest summer sale saw the unexpected star of the World Cup finals, Colombia’s James Rodríguez signing for Real Madrid for a reported £63m.
The fee makes Rodriguez the fourth most expensive transfer of all time after Real’s £86m for Gareth Bale in 2013 and £80m for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009, and Barcelona’s £75m for Suárez.
Apart from these two big sales, the transfer market has had other transfers that include intermediate signings by Atlético Madrid.
In Italy only two clubs, Roma and Juventus, have spent more than £10m to date and the same is true of the Bundesliga, where Borrussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen are leading the way. The French league is normally a minor player in these matters yet a £50m bill for David Luiz cannot go unnoticed.
Back to our local league, Zvishavane-based outfit FC Platinum seem to have made the biggest buy so far after snapping town rivals Shabanie Mine striker Ashley Mukwena for a fee believed to be around US$20 000.
The Platinum miners still hold Zimbabwe football’s biggest transfer record of US$40 000 after they signed Highlanders midfielder Joel “Josta” Ngodzo in their top-flight league debut season.
The then newcomers opened their cheque book to acquire all top players in that season which included the Motor Action duo of Charles Sibanda and Bheki Ncube, Gunners’ trio of hitman Norman Maroto, goalkeeper Tafadzwa Dube and Ali Sadiki and Dynamos’ Thabani Kamusoko.
Ngodzo’s brother Zephaniah also joined the great trek to Zvishavane for a figure of around US$20 000 together with Menard Mupera.
In other transfer news, Bulawayo giants Highlanders seem to be failing to raise US$4 000 to pay back FC Platinum for the services of striker Njabulo “JB” Ncube who left the club in a huff at the end of the 2013 soccer season to pen a one-year contract with the platinum miners believed to be in the range of US$8 000.
After finding the going tough, JB dumped FC Platinum and moved back to Bosso after the move had been stalled by FC Platinum
who were demanding payment of US$4 000. They later agreed on a payment plan.
Dynamos had their biggest buy last season when they lured winger Masimba Mambare from rivals Highlanders for a fee believed to be around US$15 000.
But the Harare giants have been number one seller to South African clubs as they have so far sold goalkeeper George Chigova to South African premiership side Supersport United for a fee in the range of US$120 000, while defender Patson Jaure joined Pretoria University for a reported amount of US$80 000.
Highlanders have been the biggest loser in the market as most of their players who left the country for South Africa were not in their books; hence negotiations have been between the players’ managers and the clubs to which the players are going.
These players include Peter “Rio” Moyo who went to Mpumalanga Black Aces, Milton Ncube to Ajax Cape Town, Kudakwashe Mahachi to Mamelodi Sundowns and Khumbulani Banda who joined Maritzburg United recently.
Other transfers that have happened in our local league have mostly involved free agent players who at the end of the day negotiated for a monthly salary of between US$400 to US$800 as well as a signing on fee that ranges between US$2 000 to US$5 000.