Former Kaizer Chiefs assistant coach Patrick Mabedi says if he were in charge of the team, he wouldn't play George Maluleka in the remaining games.
Chiefs announced earlier this week that Maluleka has turned down a new deal to sign a pre-contract with Mamelodi Sundowns.
With Chiefs and Sundowns neck and neck for the Absa Premiership title with only eight matches remaining, the Soweto giants can't afford many more slip-ups.
Mabedi, who is a legend both at Chiefs and in Malawi, says he wouldn't play 'Mido' because it would protect both the player and the club.
"Eish, it's a difficult one huh," Mabedi tells KickOff.com.
"It's a difficult one. In a situation like this they are both contenders so it's a tricky one, but it's up to them to decide which is a safer way they may follow, and which way they can handle.
"Mina [me] I [would] need to make sure that you find a balance at the same time, but if you are in a situation like this it's difficult to take chances because you don't know what's going to happen.
"Because anything that happens to the boy, whether it's not deliberately or it's deliberate, people will judge him wrongly. It's bad. So you just need to find a way of starting or also to implement someone who is going to take over as time goes, that's all.
"Even though they are still going to play each other [Chiefs and Sundowns], you must remember they all contest for the title. I mean, not to say they need to do that [sideline Maluleka] but I'm saying my opinion, if it were me, that's how I would handle it.
"Because of the sensitivity of the issue. You just ask yourself maybe, maybe this will happen. But you just need to play it safe to protect him and to protect the brand. But it's up to them to take a decision."