By Mabvuto Kambuwe:
Flames striker Gabadihno Mhango is on the radar of Portuguese Primeira Liga side Vitória Futebol Clube, popularly known as Vitoria de Setubal.
Gaba, who plays for South Africa Premier Soccer League side Bidvest Wits, is struggling for game-time this season and expressed his desire to leave the club in January in search of game-time.
In a brief interview Thursday, Mhango confirmed the prospective move but could not give more details about the trip, saying he was tied up with other commitments.
“I will talk to you later my brother. I am busy at the moment,” the former Nyasa Big Bullets striker said.
Gaba is expected to fly out to Portugal from his South Africa base today for three-week trials.
Vitoria de Setubal sent scouts to watch him in Tuesday’s 0-0 draw against Cameroon at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
Gaba moved to Wits in 2016 from Bloemfontein Celtic after spending six months on loan at Golden Arrows where he netted five goals.
He had an illustrious career at Celtic where he won the Players’ Player of the Season award and also finished as the club’s top goalscorer in the 2014 season.
Former Big Bullets and Wanderers striker, Andrew Chikhosi, said Gaba has the potential to shine in Portugal.
“Gaba is a very good striker and is always dangerous when facing defenders. He has all the qualities to play for big clubs and I am confident that he will do well in Portugal,” Chikhosi said.
Mhango featured for the Flames in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Cameroon in two back-to-back games.
If he clinches a deal in Portugal, he will become the third Malawian player to ply his trade there in recent years after Richard Mbulu and the late Abel Mwakilama.
Mbulu had a six-month stint in Portugal before returning to Mozambique’s Costa do Sol whereas the late Mwakilama played for Club Esmoriz before his sudden death due to malaria.
Vitoria were founded in 1910 and are one of Portugal’s most decorated clubs, having won six trophies.
Some of the trophies they have won in recent years are Taxa De Portugal, Taxa da Liga, the Small Club World Cup and the Iberian Cup.
The club finished on position 14 in the Primeira Liga. Based in the city of Setubal, Vitoria’s home ground is known as Estadio do Bonfim.