TNM Super League defending champions Nyasa Big Bullets and their striker Patrick Phiri are yet to agree on a new contract, with the player reported to have declined a seven-month extension.
This comes just weeks after Phiri sneaked to South Africa for trials without Bullets’ blessings.
The pint-sized forward attended trials at Glad Africa championship side Pretoria Callies FC last month but failed to clinch a deal in the Rainbow Nation.
Bullets Chief Administrator Albert Chigoga said Phiri was a free agent after refusing to sign the contract-extension deal.
“His contract expired on January 31 and he was offered an extension which he declined to sign. We are not aware of his actual whereabouts,” Chigoga said in a written response.
However, Phiri insisted he never refused to sign the extension.
“We started negotiations with Bullets but as we talked, there was an opportunity for me in South Africa. I went there to try my luck but we did not agree on some issues so I returned home,” he added.
Phiri has risen through the ranks, having represented Malawi at junior level before graduating to the senior national football team.
But the pint-sized striker has struggled to cement his place in the team, with just one goal for the senior Flames.
He netted the lone goal during Malawi’s 2-1 loss to Comoros Islands in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Phiri joined Bullets from Wizards in 2018 and helped the team claim the Super League title in the 2019 season.