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Scramble for Thuso Paipi

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Silver Strikers’ sleek on-loan winger, Thuso Paipi, faces decision time as Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers have reportedly put in bids trying to prise away the player from the Bankers.

Wizards FC Technical Director, Peter Mponda, who owns Paipi, on Sunday claimed that Silver, Wanderers and Bullets were interested in getting the dreadlocked midfielder on board permanently. Wanderers and Bullets have declined to confirm their interest.

“Bullets, Wanderers and Silver have each put K3 million on the table for the player, but we will give Silver the first option. Silver paid us K500,000 as a loan fee for a year with a pre-condition that we can recall him any time and refund them,” Mponda explained yesterday.

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“It is a pity that some Bullets officials want to give people an impression that we have rejected money from them. Let us negotiate first. The player will go to a club that will offer Paipi a better signing-on fee, monthly upkeep and rentals.”

Wizards signed Paipi from lower league side, Black Stars, in 2013. Mponda had fond memories of a down-to-earth boy who was willing to even pay for his own bus fares for him to learn football at the then Surestream Academy in Blantyre.

Silver General Secretary, Thabo Nyirenda, on Sunday said they were determined to hold on to Paipi, whose displays have since earned him a national team call-up.

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“It would not make football sense to let him go. The other teams are merely chasing shadows. Paipi knows that there is no in-form player who leaves Silver to sign for another local team. Paipi also knows that a rolling stone gathers no moss,” Nyirenda said.

Wanderers General Secretary, Mike Butao, on Sunday gave a measured response on the reports linking them to Paipi.

“Thuso is a good player and any team would be interested in him. However, I cannot comment further,” Butao said.

Paipi on Sunday said he would love to stay put at Silver, “as I have played for only half a season here. It would be a gamble to leave now. However, at the end of the day, money talks.”

Bullets’ Technical Director, Billy Tewesa, yesterday said he would comment on transfer targets later this week after meeting the Executive Committee on the same.

Bullets are depleted due to injuries of players such as Bashir Maunde, Pilirani Zonda and Chikondi Likwemba. Goalkeeper Owen Chaima and Sankhani Mkandawire have also joined Tanzanian side, Mbeya City Council FC, on loan.

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