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Pitso: Al Ahly wanted Sirino before I became coach

Gaston Sirino of Mamelodi Sundowns
(Image credit: Backpagepix)

Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane has distanced himself from the Egyptian giants’ pursuit of Mamelodi Sundowns star Gaston Sirino.

Their have been a lot of speculation surrounding the future of Sirino, with the Uruguayan heavily linked with a move to the nine time Caf Champions League champions.

Sirino added to the rumours of him joining the Red Devil’s after he stating that he would like to join his former coach at Ahly.

However, Mosimane revealed that he had no part in Ahly’s dealing with Sirino as he was still at Sundowns when they began to pursue him.

‘All of you know Al Ahly was asking about Sirino when I was at Mamelodi Sundowns,’ said Mosimane, addressing the South African Football Journalists’ Association (Safja).

‘There’s just a perception that I’m the one who wants him at Al Ahly because I’m in the hot seat, so it will always link to me.

‘I’m not angry about it but it’s been there, even when I was at Sundowns. I was the one who said to Sirino don’t go, stay here and let’s win the second star.

‘They still want him and they know him because he played against them. That’s why I stayed away from saying anything … I don’t want the footprint I left at Sundowns to be different now.’

However, Mosimane admits that the Uruguayan wants to join the Red Devil’s.

‘Sirino wants to come to Al Ahly,’ said Mosimane.

‘It’s unbelievable because one day he said to me, “You’re the first person I met in South American who said come to South Africa. If you do well here you’ll probably move over to Europe.”

‘Now he says, 'You left me here'. But I had to follow my path because I wanted to coach the biggest club on the continent.

‘It’s like if Real Madrid or Barcelona calls, you have to go. And it’s a fact that he wants to play for Al Ahly and Sundowns know that - it’s not Pitso.

‘There are stories that I want to take Themba Zwane and all that. No, I don’t have anything to do with Sundowns but opportunities are there for anybody to take.

‘Sirino is 30 [29]and this may be his last chance [at a big move] and he’s fighting for that.

‘But he has to do it the right way.’

Mosimane insists that it is the nature of football when bigger teams come knocking on the door for players.

‘I also understand international football,’ Mosimane said.

‘Al Ahly spoke to Sundowns officially and all that. Lots of things have happened but I don’t want to tell you all of that.

‘The Sundowns president was here (Egypt) to watch the Champions League final. Danny Jordaan sent me a text and made me aware that Patrice Motsepe was here.

‘But I didn’t meet him and we never communicated. He was probably very busy, which I understand.

‘I know there have been talks about Sirino at that level, because I get the feedback.

‘Sundowns signs players as well, like Peter Shalulile and Kermit Erasmus.

‘That’s the football ecosystem. Players from Al Ahly are signed by team in the English Premier League and all that.

‘Even here, we have players that we are going to lose.’