NAIROBI, November 13- Champions Gor Mahia are pondering a sensational raid into their archrivals AFC Leopards’ Den and make away with their popular captain Martin Imbalambala SuperSport.com reported Thursday.
According to the website, the dizzying days at the faltering Leopards are far from over after their chairman, Allan Kasavuli, declined to offer any assurances on the future of Dutch head coach Pieter De Jongh who is away on holiday.
“Officials of the Kenyan Premier League champions say Imbalabala has told them he is ready to make the big move to KÓgalo and dump Leopards which he has served for five years now.
“Imbalabala is one of the senior players disgruntled by the situation at the Den where they have not been paid their October salaries and are owed winning bonuses,” SuperSport wrote.
“We are considering his request, he is a big player and if he is serious we will place on offer for him. Gor is open to any good player,” a Gor official who declined to be named informed the website ahead of the opening of the December transfer window.
An Imbalambala coup would further inflame the pitch rivalry between the clubs that have been stoked in recent years by defender Eric Masika and midfielder Timona Wanyonyi moving in the opposite direction in the past three seasons.
The versatile skipper who started out at central defence but was shifted to defensive midfield by the Dutchman lifted the GOtv Shield trophy with Leopards last season and has put in a decent shift despite the underwhelming campaign to emerge as a crowd favourite.
Leopards’ players informed Capital Sport on Wednesday that some were facing eviction and were contemplating a mass exodus from the Den following non-payment of their dues despite reports sponsors Mumias Sugar had remitted monies to the Executive Committee to remunerate them.
On the revolving coaching door at Leopards, Kasavuli told SuperSport.com the club executive will audit the performance of the team in the just concluded season and make far reaching changes in the technical bench and the playing unit.
“He is a good coach tactically but we are not happy with some things about him. How he spends his time harassing the match officials. I cannot commit if he will stay, that will be a joint decision if the executive committee,” he added.
After running their archrivals close for KPL honours last season, Leopards slipped to sixth in a campaign they flirted with relegation under fired head coach James Nandwa and Abdallah Juma in temporary charge before the Dutchman took over and steadied the ship mid season.