Maritzburg United have confirmed that star pair Fortune Makaringe and Siphesihle Ndlovu will leave the club in the coming weeks, but added that the club was close to tying down coach Eric Tinkler on a new deal.
Speculation had been rife in recent weeks over the future of the two Bafana Bafana players, who have become PSL stars during their time at the club.
Makaringe is set to join Soweto giants Orlando Pirates, while Ndlovu is still mulling between the Buccaneers and Mamelodi Sundowns, according to the Team of Choice chairman Farook Kadodia.
The United boss says he is honouring a promise he made to them 12 months ago.
After helping Maritzburg to their most successful season ever in 2017/18, there was interest in both Ndlovu and Makaringe, but Chairman Farook Kadodia requested that they both stayed for at least one more year.
This was in a bid to also cushion the loss of having to sell another star, Lebohang Maboe, to the Brazilians.
Both agreed, with the young Ndlovu at the time seemingly set on a move to Chloorkop. However, the landscape has changed since then, according to Kadodia, leaving the player with a tough decision ahead of him.
Ndlovu was named Absa Premiership Midfielder of the Season and Young Player of the Season last season.
The world appeared his oyster as he went on to win his first Bafana Bafana cap. However, the 22-year-old then fell from grace after a poor start to this season and eventually ended up being dropped, before slowly regaining confidence when coach Tinkler arrived with in the final 12 games of the season.
Kadodia spoke about how Ndlovu’s head was turned by an agent and also revealed that Kaizer Chiefs never made any financial offer for the two players.
Kadodia also insisted that the departure of the Makaringe and Ndlovu will be the only two that take place over the off-season.
He pleaded with fans to understand the predicament that the club was in when it came to buying and selling players.
He says it is impossible for smaller clubs like Maritzburg to hold on to their best players in a market where teams with financial muscle like Sundowns and Pirates existed.
Kadodia also vowed to do his best to replace them accordingly.
Meanwhile, the United chairman confirmed that he was in the final stages of tying down the man that is probably their biggest hero of the season, Eric Tinkler, on a new contract.
The former Orlando Pirates, SuperSport United and Cape Town City coach arrived at the club at a time when they were written off in their plight to beat relegation.
But he fought through the hard times and rescued Maritzburg from, at one point being seven points off safety, to survive via the play-offs. Kadodia says a deal is imminent. – Report by Thahir Asmal
— Maritzburg United FC (@MaritzburgUtd) May 29, 2019