Talks between Mamelodi Sundowns and Al Ahly over a possible move for Gastón Sirino to the Egyptian powerhouse are off, the South African champions have confirmed.
In a statement released around lunchtime on Monday, Sundowns announced that the club has terminated “discussions with Al Ahly on Gastón Sirino”.
The Brazilians explained that the two clubs “are too far from each other on the transfer fee” for the Uruguayan player, who has been linked with a reunion with his former coach Pitso Mosimane at the Egyptian club.
“The good relations between the president of Al Ahly, Mr Mahmoud El Khatib, and the president of Mamelodi Sundowns, Dr Patrice Motsepe, will continue – as well as the good relations between Mamelodi Sundowns and Al Ahly – but there is no point or purpose in continuing the discussions on Gastón Sirino,” the statement read.
However, Sundowns pointed out that the club would continue to release players to “European, African and other football countries”, citing as examples the previous transfers of Percy Tau, Keagan Dolly, Bongani Zungu and former Ivorian international Siaka Tiéné.
“But the transfer fee must be competitive as Mamelodi Sundowns is consistently paying high and internationally competitive transfer fees for the players that it acquires,” continued the statement.
Sundowns did not disclose how much Al Ahly had put on the table, but media reports have speculated it could be anything between R18 million and 40 million, with Sundowns’ asking price apparently in the region of R90 million.
In the meantime, the champions have told Sirino to “now focus on his football and compete for a starting position at Mamelodi Sundowns”.
The 29-year-old attacking player last turned out for Sundowns in an official game in the MTN quarterfinals against Bloemfontein Celtic in October, but is yet to make an appearance in the DStv Premiership.
The announcement by Sundowns ended months of speculation regarding the status of their star player.
Sirino has been at Sundowns for two years.
Mosimane signed him from Club Bolivar in Bolivia in January 2018.
The star attacker signed a new five-year contract in July, which is set to expire in 2025.