Vancouver Whitecaps eye Zim soccer star
UNHERALDED France-born Zimbabwean striker Salade Machemba could play in the Major Soccer League after Canada-based club Vancouver Whitecaps expressed keen interest in signing the striker.
The 25-year-old is currently on the books of Italian side Atalanta but he wants out as he has been frozen out of the squad by new manager Gian Piero Gasperini who replaced Eduardo Reja in the off-season.
Machemba signed a three-year contract with the club in February this year having been swooped from Manchester City Under-21 side. But, since then the striker has struggled to break into the senior team.
He had hoped to nail a starting place in the team this season but his dreams were shattered after Reja was shown the exit before the start of the current season.
Atalanta BC have not even registered him on their 201617 season. This is despite that Machemba had impressed in the few minutes he was thrown onto the field when the Italian club played English Premiership side Crystal Palace in an off-season friendly.
But, despite all the on-field disappointments, Machemba said the club was honouring all their contractual obligations, including paying the striker his salary.
According to reports, Vancouver Whitecaps are keen to sign the player next January. Machemba said there is a buy-out clause in his contract and from the look of things, he was set to leave for Canada.
Reports suggest that one of the key shareholders at Atalanta has been facilitating the deal for the Zimbabwean.
Unlike some Zimbabwean players who have shunned to play for the national team, Machemba said he will honour the call if he was to be requested by the coach. He has never represented any country before. “I am ready to play for Zimbabwe if I am selected by the coach. I have never represented any country before as I was fully concentrating on my studies. My experience in England (with Manchester City U-21s) and in the Serie A is enormous and could help in a way if I am called to do duty for Zimbabwe,” he said.
Besides Vancouver Whitecaps, several other clubs have shown interest in the forward.