Kaizer Chiefs football manager Bobby Motaung says midfielder Hendrick Ekstein did not co-operate in their negotiations and that is why they decided to part ways amicably.
The former Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions boss says they released players such as Gustavo Paez as well as Khotso Malope because coach Ernst Middendorp is building a squad for the new season.
“We felt that it's better to part ways now rather than later. We felt we needed to clear the house and it’s not only the three but there is more to come. We will make announcements next week. There are developments happening – not only today,” Motaung said on Marawa Sports Worldwide on Metro FM.
Despite media reports suggesting that the 28-year-old dribbling wizard was close to securing a new deal at Naturena as the two parties were locked in negotiations, ‘Bobsteak’ said they cannot keep pretenders at the club.
“He (Ekstein) was negotiating with us, but obviously he’s been denying to talk to us. He declined our offer,” continued the football manager.
“He has shown in many aspects even today (Thursday), even yesterday (Wednesday) when we started talking again about termination, he signed with a beautiful smile. He was the happiest child ever. I’ve never seen a player terminating a contract smiling and being happy like he did,” responded Motaung.
“I think that’s why we are saying rather not keep negative energy or not keep pretenders in the club, let us rather clear these players to get an opportunity wherever they are going and bless them to move on,” said the boss.
Moreover, Motaung said they parted ways with some top players in the past and it’s nothing new, insisting that they parted ways with the Bekkersdal-born star on mutual consent.
“It's nothing new to part ways with players on contractual issues like Yeye (Reneilwe Letsholonyane) and Brian Baloyi. All these stars who have not renewed contracts, it’s nothing new and it’s normal,” he asserted.
“It was clear with his attitude in the negotiations that there was no honesty – it was amicable,” concluded the Soweto giants’ boss.
Although Middendorp was impressed with the midfielder, Ekstein was unavailable in their previous two clashes against Black Leopards and Chippa United in the Nedbank Cup but he was recalled to play against Golden Arrows on Tuesday night.