Orlando Pirates rule out Kermit Erasmus return

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Erasmus was released by the French club despite having five months left on his contract

Orlando Pirates head coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic has explained why the club cannot re-sign South African Kermit Erasmus.

The 27-year-old striker is a free agent after being released by French Ligue 1 outfit Rennes despite having five months left on his contract.

Erasmus, who joined Rennes from Pirates midway through the 2015/16 season, endured a frustrating time at the club and made just 10 appearances in the French topflight.

Sredojevic was recently asked whether or not the Soweto giants are interested in snapping up Erasmus, who helped Pirates win the 2014 Nedbank Cup.

The Serbian tactician stated that Fifa rules would prevent the club from re-signing the diminutive forward. 

“As far as I know, deeply analysing the Fifa rules, he would need to wait until June to be registered anywhere else except in Turkey, Russia, Sweden and China,” Sredojevic told the media.

According to Fifa rules if a player is out of contract prior to the closing of the window, he is free to approach and sign for a club of his choice outside the transfer window.

In Erasmus' case, the Port Elizabeth-born forward was still contracted to Rennes when the recent January transfer window slammed shut.

This means he would only be able to play for whichever team he chooses to sign with, except in the aforementioned countries, from next season.

“On our side that (the transfer window) is closed and you cannot open. We have the greatest respect for Kermit and he has given good service to the team," he added.

"I have no right to speak about him, because administratively, we cannot finish (sign him) and for me, I have the best players in South Africa here with us,” Micho concluded.

Last season, English Premier League side Burnley signed Joey Barton as a free agent in December, but he only began playing for the team in January 2017.

That was after the controversial midfielder's contract had been teminated by Scottish Premiership giants Rangers in November 2016.

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Locally, Zimbabwe international Michelle Katsvairo returned to his parent club, Kaizer Chiefs, late last year after parting ways with Tanzanian side Singida United.

Amakhosi did not register the striker with the PSL because of the same rules and ultimately, he was released by the club during the recent transfer window.

This means Katsvairo, who has been linked with a possible move to Baroka FC, is free to join a team of his choice even if the transfer window is closed unlike Erasmus.

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