Phiri opens up on failed transfer

SA National Teams

Bafana Bafana midfielder Lebogang Phiri has discussed his failed move away from French club Guingamp before the close of the recent transfer window.

Phiri had been reportedly on the wanted list of several clubs in Ligue 1, including RC Strasbourg – where countryman Lebogang Mothiba currently plies his trade – following his impressive showings last season.

But with the transfer window having slammed shut just hours before he arrived for Bafana duty on Tuesday morning, the 24-year-old former Brondby IF star will now have to stick it out in Ligue 2 after his club suffered relegation from the French premier division in May.  

He has since admitted the disappointment at having missed out on a return to the highest level, while listing four clubs that were keen on his services.

“Of course, it’s tough. I had interest from a few teams – Trabzonspor in Turkey; I had Brest, Strasbourg and Rennes all in Ligue 1,” Phiri revealed exclusively to

“But, of course, my president didn’t want to let me go because he feels I’m a key factor in the team and he needs to keep me as long as he can.

“I felt disappointment in a sense, because I always want to play at the highest level but, as I said before, you never bite the hand that feeds you.

“He gave me the opportunity when I didn’t have a team; when I was a free agent, he took a chance on me and two years later I’m still there and I’m doing my best.”

Still with two years running on his current deal, Phiri further remains committed to serving EAG in their cause to return to the top-flight next season, but should they fall short he hopes for the blessing of club president Betrand Desplat.

“I’m going to push throughout the whole season, whether it’s for six months or a year, I’m going to do my best to help get the team back into Ligue 1,” he added.

“If not the case then, hopefully he can give me the blessings to move on and pursue my dreams as well.”