Kaizer Chiefs football manager Bobby Motaung says there was no animosity between Pule Ekstein and the club in the lead-up to the player’s departure, Sunday World reports
The midfielder, along with striker Gustavo Paez and defender Kgotso Malope, were released from their contracts just weeks before the end of the season.
It has been Ekstein’s departure which has raised the most eyebrows, as the player had been a regular in the starting team, with coach Ernst Middendorp expressing his desire to keep him at the club.
Why Pule Ekstein was let go by Kaizer Chiefs
According to Motaung, the 28-year-old was offered a new contract which he rejected, and the main reason behind his early release was the fact that he would not be part of the club in the upcoming season.
“Why delay when people are not going to be part of you next season?” he said.
“All those players, their contracts are up. The coach is preparing the team for next season. So rather use players who are going to be there next season.
“We have started the process of looking at players we want to bring in. And those who are going, we would rather release them now, also for them to have time to find clubs.”
Where to next for Ekstein?
There has been speculation over the Chiefs youth product’s next move, with rumours linking him to Amakhosi’s arch-rivals Orlando Pirates.
However, the suggestion of the player swapping gold for black has been poured water on by his agent Palesa Mkhize, who said she was yet to be contacted by the Buccaneers.
Nothing, on the other hand, suggested that the player might have had his future figured out, as he was “happy” to have his contract torn up.
“Even on TV you could see he was not a sad player. He was not angry.
“Who could terminate a contract without having a job, and just accept the termination, and say ‘I’m happy about it’?”
Ekstein made the jump up to first-team football at the age of 24, and made 91 appearances in all competitions for the club.