Ray Bande Senior Reporter
MARSHALL Munetsi, widely touted as the face of an emerging Golden Generation of Warriors, is being linked with an imminent move to globally rated football leagues – Ligue 1 in France or the Belgium First Division A.
Although his South African handler Bevan Dicks neither denied nor confirmed the developments in an interview with Post Sport on Wednesday, well placed sources close to the goings-on said Munetsi is on the verge of sealing a deal with a top flight league side either in France or Belgium.
“Right now the full focus is on the Cosafa cup and the Afcon, the boy wants to focus on making his nation proud and we will take it as it comes but mainly the focus is on the national team,” said Dicks.
In a separate interview, Warrior’s team manager Wellington Mupandare told this newspaper from South Africa, where he is on a tour of national duty, that Munetsi could be joining a Belgian side.
“He has not yet signed for any club but he is supposed to sign with a Belgium club,” said Mupandare.
However, a reliable source close to the negotiations going on between Munetsi’s handlers and European clubs with interests in the player said the Orlando Pirates player was close to signing for a French top flight league side.
“We are aware that Marshal Munetsi is close to signing for a French top flight league side. In fact, we understand the deal is already finalized and he just has to put pen to paper after the Afcon finals. However, there is also another team in the top flight league of Belgium that really wanted to sign him but I understand the Belgium club was outplayed on their offer,” said the source.
Munetsi was signed by Pirates as a 19-year-old in 2016, in what was said to be a multi-million rand long-term deal, from FC Cape Town in the National First Division.
The player has grown in leaps and bounds since arriving in Mzansi over three years ago, as he is also a regular for Zimbabwe’s senior national team.
Apparently this is not the first time that the talented Orlando Pirates player has been linked with a move overseas after he was once tipped to move to Major League Soccer in the United States in January.
The Orlando Pirates midfielder is now being heavily linked with a move to Europe, after the Bucs worked hard behind the scenes to keep the player from moving in January.
Media reports in South Africa in March indicated that Pirates were believed to have talked Munetsi out of a possible move to the MLS, with the player also deciding at that time to remain focused on getting first team game-time with the Soweto giants.
Munetsi, who made 23 appearances in all competitions with Pirates this past season, still has two more years remaining on his contract with the Buccaneers.
With it being believed that the club and technical team rates Munetsi highly, indications are that the Bucs won’t let the player go cheaply.
Now, it remains to be seen what will become of Munetsi’s immediate future in the coming weeks, however, it is unlikely that Pirates would stand in the way of the player’s chance to ply his trade abroad.
The 22-year-old defensive midfielder, who also plays as a central defender for his South African side Orlando Pirates, has transformed himself into one of prized assets in Supa Diski with some commanding performances.
He is also now a regular for the Warriors, having caught the eye of coach Sunday Chidzambwa during a tournament in Zambia, with the gaffer saying he is the biggest find in local football in the past few years.
Munetsi has flourished in South Africa since arriving when he joined lower division side Ubuntu Cape Town.
The Cape side describes him as a special player who was “in the mould of a typical Yaya Toure, big, strong and mobile and a good passer of the ball”.
He made 22 appearances for Ubuntu that season and moved to Baroka where he also played for just a season, making 26 appearances before Pirates came calling.