Football

Sirino absent from Mamelodi Sundowns training as transfer rumours persist

The transfer saga surrounding the Uruguayan escalated on Monday as he reportedly did not show up when the squad regrouped

Mamelodi Sundowns returned to training ahead of Saturday’s Premier Soccer League clash against Orlando Pirates, but attacker Gaston Sirino reportedly snubbed Monday’s workout.

This comes on a day when Downs announced that they are “terminating discussions” with African champions Al Ahly who are understood to be bidding for the 29-year-old’s signature.

Negotiations between Sundowns and the Cairo giants have been stalled by disagreements on the players’ transfer price.

Sirino has publicly made a transfer request, in the process angering the Brazilians, who threatened disciplinary action against him.

After the player missed training on Monday, the club insist that his absence was not a protest to push for a move.

“There are no issues, he is not the only player missing today. He is part of the group,” an unnamed Sundowns official was quoted as saying by KickOff.

Earlier this month, Sundowns general manager Yogesh Singh said they wanted R92 million from Ahly, who reportedly upped their R18 million offer to R46 million, which was rejected.

Had the Cairo giants agreed to Sundowns’ asking fee, it would have been the record transfer figure Masandawana have ever received for a player.

As Downs now prepare to host Pirates for their ninth PSL match this season, Sirino is yet to make a league appearance after getting injured in the MTN8 quarter-final match against Bloemfontein Celtic in October.

After expressing his desire to move to Egypt, speculation has been heightened that the forward has since recovered and is refusing to play in order to push for the transfer.

The Tshwane giants, however, denied those rumours.

Sirino arrived at Chloorkop in January 2018 from Bolivian side Bolivar, and he has already completed two full seasons in the PSL.

In June 2020, he extended his Sundowns contract by a further five years amid already reported interest from Al Ahly, which is said to have now been fuelled by Pitso Mosimane taking charge of the Egyptian giants.

Since his arrival, the Uruguayan has featured in 100 Sundowns matches across all competitions, scoring 24 goals and providing 29 assists.

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