By Gilbert Wandera
Thika United are ready to release international midfielder Peter Opiyo to Gor Mahia.
Opiyo has been on loan at Gor for the whole of last season. He had a great season after being voted the country’s top midfielder and it was expected that Thika would want him back this season.
However, both Thika coach Abdalla Juma and vice-chairman Gerald Chege said they are willing to allow Opiyo to continue his loan spell at Gor because they have no place for him in the team at the moment. Peter Opiyo battles when he won the midfielder of the year award. [PHOTOS:FILE/STANDARD]
Peter Opiyo battles when he won the midfielder of the year award. [PHOTOS:FILE/STANDARD]
Said Abdalla: "He is not in my plans for next season because we have already recruited well to cover-up his position. I understand also that he is supposed to be pursuing a professional career so we don’t expect him back."
Chege said as far as he was concerned, Thika’s arrangement with Gor regarding the player was for one year and if the latter are still interested in his services they are willing to negotiate.
"We have no trouble with Gor regarding the player and will be willing to let him continue turning out for them next season so long as we agree. We are talking and hopefully we will have an agreement before the season starts in a few weeks," Chege said.
However, a top Gor official who did not want to be named said the player is not willing to go back to Thika whom he accuses of misusing him last season by failing to give him ample playing time.
"The player will never go back to Thika and has asked us to renegotiate to have him at Gor next season. He would rather not play in the Kenyan Premier League than go back there because he feels they did not recognise his potential and give him a chance," the official said.
However, Chege denied this insisting the midfielder failed to break into the starting line-up due to massive competition.
"There were too many players to choose from and that is why he could not be fielded in the first eleven," said Chege.
Opiyo is also pursuing a professional career. He attended trials in Germany last month but is yet to know his fate.
He has been one of the surprise performers during last season a fact that saw him earn recognition from the national team selectors.
Meanwhile, Fulham boss Roy Hodgson fears Ghana international John Pantsil may miss the rest of the season after he twisted his knee in the 2-1 defeat at Chelsea adds BBC reports.
Pantsil had been due to link up with Ghana for the Africa Cup of Nations, but Fulham are to send him for scan.
"His knee is sufficiently bad that we wouldn’t want to put him on a flight," said Hodgson.
"I’m more concerned he’ll miss the rest of the season because I always fear the worst when players twist their knees."
If Pantsil is ruled out for the season the Ghana defender could also miss the 2010 World Cup.
"Whether John goes to the Nations Cup depends on what his scan results are," added Hodgson. "When he’s fit enough to travel for Ghana to look at him he’s welcome to go."