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Downs playing hard ball over Tau’s dream European move

PRETORIA – Reports are claiming that Mamelodi Sundowns are digging in their heels over star Bafana striker Percy Tau’s proposed move to English Premier League club Brighton & Hove Albion.

According to Tau’s agent Mmatsatsi Sefalafala, the 2016 African champions have valued their prized asset at £4m (roughly R70 million), with Brighton’s highest offer reportedly £2,5m (R44 million). The British team, who finished 15th last season in the English Premier League, seven points above the relegation zone, are believed to have first approached Tau in March.

“Their latest offer is £2,5m, with £2,2m payable immediately and £300 000 payable next year in June, plus a 5 percent sell-on. This revised offer was sent to Downs on Thursday night last week,” Sefalafala was quoted as saying by the Sunday Times.

Furthermore, Sefalafala said that the 24-year-old Premiership Player of the Season had declined an opportunity to go watch the World Cup in Russia with some of his club team-mates due to concern over the lack of clarity with regards his future. Sefalafala also claims Sundowns president, Patrice Motsepe is giving Tau the cold shoulder.

“Last Saturday Tau sent Motsepe a text message requesting the president to, ‘Please help me, I need your assistance, in January we spoke about this, you said if we get an opportunity we will talk’.

“Usually, when Percy texts him, he responds immediately. This time around he went quiet. I then received a message from Brighton to say Sundowns have responded and have not moved on the four million,” she said.

“This opportunity is hanging by a thread. The sad part is that we have it in black and white that if a bona fide offer comes which the player wishes to accept, both parties, in good faith, shall engage one another in that regard,” she confirmed.

READ: Tau named South African Footballer of the Season

Sundowns hit back with a statement later on Sunday, claiming the situation had been unfairly twisted in the media.

“Mamelodi Sundowns have stated on numerous occasions over the past 18 months that it is committed to ensuring that Percy Tau plays and pursues his career in Europe,” the club said.

“We have been saddened by misrepresentations and false statements in the media concerning discussions for Percy Tau to play in Europe.

“Mamelodi Sundowns will not engage and discuss in public and with the media, the confidential negotiations that are currently underway with several interested European clubs for Percy Tau to play in Europe.”

Tau though fired back a shot of his own, posting on Twitter: “By the way, there’s no false statements,” a tweet he later deleted.

Tau’s contract with Sundowns reportedly has another year to run. Last Friday, Kaizer Chiefs confirmed the signing of Khama Billiat, who came in on a free transfer from the Brazilians after his contract had expired. Billiat had also previously been linked to several clubs abroad and on the continent.

African News Agency

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