IF IT was up to Patrice Motsepe, Keagan Dolly would have been released by Mamelodi Sundowns for free following a legal tussle and intense investigations by the Chloorkop side.
“But it is not up to me and I have to respect the Mamelodi Sundowns board,” said the billionaire mining magnate at a quickly arranged media briefing in Sandton yesterday.
Motsepe is actually gatvol with all the pushing and shoving for the player’s signature by overseas teams and wants this chapter closed, “not tomorrow, not today but now . . .”.
French Ligue 1 club Montpellier and Greek Super League team Olympiakos are believed to be prepared to break the bank to acquire the 23-year-old’s services.
Motsepe has given the green light to the former Ajax Cape Town winger to leave the club, should they receive an offer of about R21 million “in terms of the buyout clause that was agreed upon between Dolly and Downs and upheld by the PSL dispute resolution chamber”.
Olympiakos and Montpellier are believed to have reacted swiftly to the initial R10m buyout clause on Dolly’s contract, an amount Motsepe says was an “honest mistake” and was always supposed to be set at R21m.
“I have no problem letting Dolly go but it’s a matter of principle,” he said.
“The board will be angry with me if I allow him to go without the buyout clause. A mistake was made by an official at Sundowns and board members thought someone was paid to change the buyout clause figure. There were accusations of bribery and corruption. I was irritated too but it’s an honest mistake. The buyout clause is there as it stands.”
Motsepe added that despite the disagreement between Dolly and the club, the player must be given support. He said: “We owe it to him to make sure he stays focused on the pitch. I personally called and told him to forget about it, focus on his football and let the process take its course.”
This comes after Motsepe lost his cool during a heated argument, throwing his hands in the air and saying the player could go, in front of his agent Paul Mitchell. But the board said no!
The Downs president admitted all of this happened under his watch.
Speaking at the press conference themed “The next 10 years” Motsepe said he spoke to the player personally to assure him that he would only be allowed to leave should the club receive the right offer.
English Premiership side Manchester City are also in the reckoning. Their officials have visited Sundowns’ offices, wanting to know more about the player they saw in action at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.
Also on their way out, seeking greener pastures, are Colombian goal poacher
Leonardo Castro and lanky Liberian forward Anthony Laffor.
Zimbabwean super star Khama Billiat and Ugandan goalkeeper Denis Onyango are wanted by a number of clubs too.
Motsepe made it clear that he would not stand in anyone’s way, but stressed that they would only be allowed to leave for the right price.
Former Downs skipper and now Kaizer Chiefs defender Ramahlwe Mphahlele left the Brazilians for more money at the end of last season – and Motsepe does not see anything wrong with his decision.
Laffor, who is also linked to Chiefs, is looking to follow in Mphahlele’s footsteps.
Motsepe left everyone shocked when he said he wanted his head Pitso Mosimane, reigning African Coach of the Year, to be the Alex Ferguson or the Arsene Wenger of Africa.
This comes after “a four-year contract handshake” that will see Mosimane become the longest serving coach at Chloorkop.
The mining boss cleared the air, saying the SA Football Association had not contacted him to enquire about the availability of Mosimane as a potential Bafana Banana coach.