Nasief signs with Santander

2009-07-16 00:00

BAFANA Bafana central defender Nasief Morris signed with top Spanish La Liga club Racing Santander for a year on loan yesterday, his agent, Mike Makaab, revealed.

Morris was a stand out player at Recreativo Huelva last season, despite the club being relegated from La Liga. His move to Santander, who fininshed 12th last season, is likely to boost his chances of regaining his place in the Bafana squad.

The defender was axed from South Africa’s Confederations Cup squad by coach Joel Santana for showing up a day late to Bafana’s pre-tournament training camp in May.

Makaab said two South Africans who were part of Bafana’s impressive performance at the Confed, midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi and left-back Tsepo Masilela, could also be on the verge of big European transfers.

“Nasief has joined Racing on a one-year loan from [Greek club] Panathinaikos, with an option at the end of the year to be signed outright for three years,” Makaab said.

“It’s a great move for him. Racing are a big club in Spain who have played 90% of their existence in La Liga. They had a poor campaign last season, but have been working hard to improve on that.

“The move shows that Nasief has established himself in La Liga. He played 37 games out of 38 for Recreativo last season, which made him the most capped outfield player in La Liga.

“He’s glad to be staying in La Liga because he wants to fight to get his Bafana place back. He likes the culture in Spain, and wants to continue playing there even though he had a lot of offers from the Premiership, Germany, and a top, top Russian club.”

Makaab said Dikgacoi will head off for a final test this weekend with Fulham, where he has been viewed as a potential replacement to Senegalese midfielder Papa Bouba Diop. The big Lamontville Golden Arrows player could not get a work permit to join the English Premier League club in the January transfer window and has since been put on a fitness programme and closely monitored by the London team.

“It’s not a fitness test, but a test of whether he has the physicality to be able to play in the Premiership. And if he’s maybe not quite at that level right now, can he get there?” Makaab said. “We’ve also had a lot of interest in Kagisho from other clubs, but I can’t name them.”

While some critics felt Dikgacoi had an average Confed Cup, Makaab said the role the multi-talented midfielder was asked to play by Santana had not made things easy for the player.

“I thought Kagisho had a very adequate Confed Cup. It’s not easy as a holding midfielder to understand what your role should be when you’re playing in a midfield with three defensive midfielders.

“I’m not knocking the coach [Santana], and I know why he did it, but I just don’t think it was easy for Kagisho.”

One player who did shine at the Confed was left-back Masilela, and Makaab said interest has been high in the Israeli-based defender, including from Dutch club FC Twente who on Tuesday signed Bafana striker Bernard Parker.

“Masilela has had massive interest,” Makaab said. “FC Twente have inquired about him and there have also been clubs in the English Premiership and Germany.

“It’s just a matter of finding the right club that suits his interests, and of course a deal that is conducive to his club, Maccabi Haifa.”

Makaab said Bafana’s excellent showing at last month’s Confed has opened doors again for South African players in Europe.

“I really believe Bafana had a fantastic Confed Cup, and it’s changed the way European clubs look at all South African players.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.