Cape Town - Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp says Hendrick Ekstein is a valuable member of his squad but is unavailable due to an ongoing contract dispute.
Ekstein's deal with Chiefs comes to an end at the conclusion of 2018/19 and though he has been offered a new two-year contract by the club, the financial terms on offer have fallen short of his expectations.
Middendorp rates the 28-year-old highly saying he is one of the best players he has ever coached in his long career.
However, while the attacking midfielder is receiving rich praise from the German - his only contribution this season in 18 appearances has been one goal and one assist in all competitions.
As such, it seems that the Glamour Boys management are offering terms that represent his statistical impact rather than what potential he may offer in future. Ekstein has not featured at all in Chiefs' last two games.
Middendorp told reporters: "You know sometimes players are busy with private issues, busy with certain circumstances. If they can be made responsible for it or not, I don't know actually.
"He is a very important player in the squad and deserves to play like every player who is 100% committed and directed and shows it on the training ground (he must play).
"Actually, I don't know. It's not about Ekstein and it's not about (Dumsani) Zuma. It's the brand.
"It's about the reputation of the team and we have this process where everybody understands more and more of what has to be contributed to be successful at the end of the day."