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Sundowns part ways with Maluleka

DStv Premiership champions Mamelodi Sundowns have made the shock decision to release midfielder George Maluleka.

Maluleka joined the club from Kaizer Chiefs at the beginning of the 2020/2021 season and the club have decided not to extend his contract, which ends on June 31. The decision comes as a surprise as Maluleka had his first extended run in the first-team towards the end of the season.

That appeared to suggest Maluleka had finally won over the technical staff after a paltry 15 appearances in total over almost two whole seasons and those mostly coming off the bench.

However, the 33-year-old has indeed been deemed surplus to requirements, with the club paying tribute to 'Mido', whose agent admits the decision has come as a surprise.

Maluleka's agent Sean Roberts, the former Ajax Cape Town goalkeeper, said: "Yes, they [Sundowns] didn't take up the option. It's quite surprising, I won't lie. It caught us by surprise but obviously we need to accept the decision and move on," Roberts said.

"We are grateful for the opportunity Sundowns gave George. He joined the club because we wanted to win trophies and he achieved that [as he won two league titles, one MTN8 and one Nedbank Cup]. Now we look forward to the next chapter of his football career.

"We're already talking to a few clubs who seem to be interested in George's services but I can't disclose their names at this point and time."

Sundowns' statement read: "Mamelodi Sundowns has parted ways with George “Mido” Maluleka.

"George joined Mamelodi Sundowns in April 2020 and leaves the club with 4 titles including 2 Premiership medals.

"The Club thanks him for his dedication and professionalism on and off the field during his time at Chloorkop.

"We wish George the best of luck in his future endeavors.

"Thank you for your contribution to Mamelodi Sundowns Mido."