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Gaba’s future in the balance

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Injury-plagued striker, Frank Gabadinho Mhango’s future hangs in the balance at Bloemfontein Celtic as he is yet to accept a two-year contract extension for the South African Absa Premier League side.

Gabadinho’s South Africa-based manager, Mike Makaab of Prosport International, yesterday said nothing has been decided on the contract which is into its last six months.

“His contract expires in June. We are looking at all options, not just Celtic at the moment,” Makaab said in a brief interview from Durban about the player who is always linked with many clubs, including Kaizer Chiefs.

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Celtic’s Malawian team manager, John Maduka, on Monday confirmed to have offered Gabadinho a two-year contract extension.

“His contract ends in January and we have exercised an option to extend it. We are just waiting for him and his agent to come back to us. After undergoing two surgeries for a groin problem, he is coming right. We are so sure he will regain form,” Maduka said.

But Makaab insisted that the contract expires in June. Gabadinho, once a prolific striker for club and country, is yet to score this season for Celtic. He played for 37 minutes on Friday during a 2-1 loss to Chippa United.

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Fifa transfer regulations allow players who are into the last six months of a contract, to talk to potential suitors.

Celtic, who signed Gabadinho on a year-long contract in 2013 before extending it to two years in 2014, season scored 10 goals in all competitions in his debut season in South Africa. He was voted Celtic’s Players’ Player-of-the- Year and Rookies-of- the-Year.

Former Celtic coach, Ernest Middendorp,last year predicted that Gabadinho would struggle in the forthcoming seasons owing to his lack of proper development.

“I just think he is a very raw diamond, who hasn’t been worked on much yet. It’s still a bit too much up and down from him. He has the quality – if he can understand what it means to be a professional player, he can have a good future,” Middendorp told Sunday World edition of April 30, 2014 newspaper of South Africa.

“Otherwise his strength is definitely his natural approach, of a striker running against defenders, penetrating them, having fun turning them around.Also, at the moment, defenders don’t take him really seriously. Perhaps a bit more visibility and they will come at him and he’ll be a main target. He will have to learn to deal with that.”

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