Ever since the end of the season, Uganda Premier League champions Vipers Sports Club and their number one goalie Ismail Watenga have been in talks over a new deal for the Uganda Cranes stopper.
However, the latest developments at the Kitende based club indicate that Watenga is on the verge of an imminent exit.
This comes after the Venoms last week confirmed the capture of goalkeeper Fabien Mutombola from Burundi side Lydia Ludic Academic to join the new trio of Bashir Ssekagya, Derrick Ochan and Eric Kibowa.
Reports close to the club say that the two-time league champion and 2017 Uganda Cup winner with Vipers asked for a whopping $70,000 US (approximately Shs259m) if he is to renew his contract with the club.
The goalkeeper missed Vipers' stint at the CECAFA Kagame Cup earlier on in July in Tanzania and more recently fortnight training camp in Mbale as new head coach Javier Martinez took charges. The club then used the opportunity to test Mutombola in their 6-1 victory over Mbale Heroes in a pre-season friendly before tying him down to a three-year deal, snatching him right under Express FC’s noses. The Red Eagles had strongly been linked with the player.
The arrival of the Burundi international has also seen the gates of St. Mary’s stadium be widely open for Watenga’s deputy James Alitho to exit while the former is strongly linked with a move to SC Villa.
On a brighter note, Vipers have managed to convince experienced defender Halid Lwaliwa to stay despite being linked with a move to the Botswana Premier League. Lwaliwa has since put pen to paper on a new year contract.
Meanwhile, coach Martinez’s charges saw them lose by 1-0 to newly UPL side Nyamityobora in a friendly match at Kakyeeka Stadium in Mbarara.
By Robert K James