Kebue and Ramatlapeng are reportedly in hard negotiations with the team as their contracts end this month.
Despite their enviable riches, beautiful display of the football artistry and utter dominance over members of the local elite football league, there are still some players who could be on their way out, if they fail to get what they want at Gaborone United.
So far, the club has been able to convince and tie down high flying left full back Mothusi Johnson to a new two year deal.
That however appears to be a different ball game altogether for hard tackling defender Thato Kebue and nimble versatile attacker, Thatayaone Ramatlapeng, who could leave the club for free with their current deals set to expire on the 31st of December 2022.
Kebue was relegated to the bench over the weekend as the Reds ran riot over newly promoted Nico United, thumping them 4-0, and was replaced in the line-up by the club stalwart, Tshepo Maikano.
Talks between the player and the club are ongoing and there is a positive feeling between the two parties as they are not too far off the valuation of the player.
The deal however is complicated by the fact that, the two mining giants, Orapa United and Jwaneng Galaxy have reportedly shown keen interest on the services of the defender.
Ramatlapeng was dropped from the 18 men squad for the game against Nico United just under 48 hours to kick-off.
The Reds management are alleged to be increasingly growing frustrated with the stagnation on the negotiations with the player and his representatives, with reports suggesting that they are willing to allow him leave the club.
Township Rollers is reportedly interested in him and will not pass on the opportunity to sign the player. They will however face stiff competition for the signature of the player from the usual suspects, Galaxy and the Ostriches who are said to have already made contact with the player.
Ramatlapeng’s former side, Security Systems are also reportedly keeping a close eye on the developments and could move to lure the player back to the Alarm Boys’ camp, following his impressive start to the season with four (4) assists from right back position in his first six matches.
Contacted for a comment, GU’s team manager, Thapelo Mothusi admitted that they are engaging in talks with their players whose contracts are coming to an end, and also emphasized the clubs’ desire to keep those that have been part of the first team.
“We are still in negotiations with our players whose contracts are coming to an end, once we are done we will give proper updates. We have already managed to keep Mothusi Johnson and we are hopeful that we will conclude the negotiations with others,” Mothusi responded.
“We are a winning team, we don’t want to lose any player to any club, which could put a dent to our title aspirations, so we are not ready to lose any player. Our intentions are to keep every member of the first team. Why will a player choose to miss out on an opportunity to win a league medal with us? If they are happy here with us there is no reason for them to leave but we are also not going to keep unhappy players in our camp,” he added.
Mothusi further highlighted that they will not be active in the January transfer window but indicated that they will only act if they lose some of their players. Several other players could leave the club, amongst them Karabo Phiri, whose contract also expires at the end of the month while a good number of other players move into the last six (6) months of their current contracts.
The Money Machine, bankrolled by Gaborone business mogul, Nicolas Zakhem have been impeccable in their recruitment and keeping some of the country’s best talents at the club.
The recent FIFA international break saw Mogomotsi Mpote, the Zebras head coach, name eight (8) Gaborone United players in his squad, once more a justifying move that the Botswana Football League champions are indeed the best outfit in the land.
Jwaneng Galaxy and Township Rollers could only watch in awe as Moyagoleele completed a season's double by clinching the Botswana Football League (BFL) title and the Orange FA cup, leaving Orapa United to feed on crumbs of the Mascom Charity cup.
A remarkable start to the season has once again seen local pundits tip the Gaborone based side as favourites to retain the title after just seven matches in which they have rattled the net 19 times and conceded only one goal.