ORLANDO Pirates have given up on signing Chipolopolo midfielder Rianford Kalaba.
Pirates coach Roger de Sa said the financial muscle of DRC giants TP Mazembe had made it difficult for the Buccaneers to sign Kalaba.
De Sa told kickoff magazine that Pirates had been pursuing the midfielder for a long time before he became the club’s coach.
He said Mazembe was paying its players salaries similar to the ones European teams were paying their players.
“He [Kalaba] is a good player – there is no doubt about that. Pirates were always after his signature, even before I became the coach,” De Sa said.
“But he is too expensive. You must understand that the Mazembe players earn very good money, salaries that are almost at the same levels as the players in Europe.”
On the last day of the transfer window in January, Kalaba’s transfer to Orlando Pirates was stalled because his paperwork was not delivered to the Premier Soccer League on time.
Kalaba is believed to have signed a three-year deal with Bucs from Mazembe but the contract became void after the PSL confirmed that the player was not registered in time at the close of the transfer window at 5pm on January 31.
Kalaba was in Mazembe’s team that lost 3-1 to Pirates last week in the second round of the CAF champions’ league first leg match where De Sa said he was impressed with the player’s flashes of brilliance.
Pirates who already have Zambian Collins Mbesuma were also eying Isaac Chansa but could not land the club-less midfielder due to high demanding wages.