KAIZER Chiefs won’t renew Ramahlwe “Rama” Mphahlele’s contract when it expires at the end of the PSL season.

The veteran defender was given a one-year contract extension in June, with an option for another season. However, SunSport has reliably learnt that Amakhosi management won’t exercise the option to extend his contract since he has yet to played under coach Stuart Baxter in six games that he has been in charge.

The 31-year-old has been struggling to break into the team, as he has only managed to sit on the bench twice this season in their goalless draw with TS Galaxy on 22 August, and when they held AmaZulu to a 1-1 draw on 2 October.

Baxter preferred Njabulo Blom, Eric Mathoho, and latest recruit Aaron Dube also got the nod ahead of him in defence against Usuthu prior to the Fifa calendar break.

Mphahlele joined Chiefs in 2016, following a long spell with Mamelodi Sundowns and this is his sixth season with the Naturena-based side.

However, Chiefs manager Bobby Motaung has poured cold water on the Mphahlele developments, insisting he is in Baxter’s plans.

Said Motaung: “Rama is still part of this team.

“We have only played five games and people are already talking about releasing players. Every player is still part of Chiefs.”

But our informant, sitting closer to developments, said that Rama is on the list of players to be offloaded in January.

“He has been struggling to convince the technical staff that he deserves a place in the starting line-up.

“Even though he was appointed captain before the start of the season, injuries have also made things more difficult for him to fight for his position in the team,” our mole said.