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SuperSport United issue hands off warning to Safa amid Baxter interest

15:24 GMT+3 30/01/2017
Stuart Baxter, SuperSport United, March 2016.
The former Amakhosi mentor is reportedly one of the frontrunners for the vacant Bafana position, but Matsatsantsa say the coach isn't going anywhere

SuperSport United chairman Khulu Sibiya has confirmed that the South African Football Association (Safa) is “making overtures” to Stuart Baxter, but he revealed that they will not be releasing the 63-year-old coach to Bafana Bafana.

Reports surfaced at the weekend that Safa wants Baxter to take over from Shakes Mashaba, who was sacked by the country’s FA late last year.

Sibiya however, said Baxter is staying put, adding that they intend to win the PSL title with the former Kaizer Chiefs coach this season.

Matsatsantsa top the log table with 25 points from 14 league games going into the second half of the campaign which is set to get underway on February 7.  

“Stan told me that Safa is making overtures to Stuart, but said to me that Stuart is going nowhere,” Sibiya was quoted as saying by the Daily Sun newspaper on Monday.

“He had an experience with Bafana before and that was not a good experience. So, he will not be keen to go back there. He is happy at SuperSport. That is what Stan told me, as I’ve not spoken to Stuart about this,” he said.

“I’m not releasing him because I’m ambitious about winning the league. He is an amazing coach,” he continued.

“Stuart is tough and wants to win and, most importantly, the players love and respond to him. He has changed our team for the better. So, we’re not going to let him go,” concluded Sibiya.

Baxter also shot down the rumours, saying he’s still enjoying his job at SuperSport United.

“I’m the SuperSport head coach and I’m enjoying my job. I cannot make any comment on this. I’m not going to fuel any speculation,” Baxter said.

Meanwhile, Safa CEO Dennis Mumble denied making a move for Baxter, before adding that they will only start the process of finding Mashaba’s successor next week.

“I have not spoken to any coach. I have not even started working on getting the wheels in motion to get a new coach. We’ll start the process next week,” said Mumble.