The curious case of Stopilla Sunzu - The Arsenal and Reading target who can't finalise a move

He was a free agent now he is worth £4 million and Sunderland have joined the race for the 23-year-old Zambia international. Is he even worth all the hassle?

The confusion over this saga is waging on as one of Africa’s top talents continues to be linked with a move away from the club.

Originally Stoppila Sunzu was all set to sign for Arsenal but that deal fell by the wayside and then it was reported that a move to Reading was a done deal; until that collapsed as well.

Now Sunderland have had their name thrown into the mixer while Arsenal appear to be favourites to sign him once again.

So what is going on?

The confusion stems around his agents and representatives who appear to have not been doing a very good job of representing their client’s best interests. They had reportedly informed the Zambia international, and any interested suitors, that his contract at current club TP Mazembe was invalid therefore he was eligible to leave on a free transfer.

In fact the DR Congo club, one of the richest football establishments in African football, are requesting a fee of £4 million as his contract is more than legally binding, a fact confirmed by Mazembe’s club president Moise Katumbi in an interview with the BBC last week:

"The matter has been resolved after we went through the contract with everyone and the player admitted his contract was still valid. The problem is that his handlers have been lying to him so that he rebels against us. We suspect they wanted to get all his transfer fees by declaring him a free agent. TP Mazembe is a professional club and we will never stand in the way of our players as long as the right procedure is followed."

However that does not mean the club do not want to sell Sunzu. He has not been registered for the teams African Champions League campaign as they seek to let him complete a dream move to Europe; but they want £4 million for him.

Based on the evidence at the African Nations cup of 2012, where Zambia were successful, he might have been worth a punt but after seeing him in action again this winter you would have to say he is just not worth the risk at £4 million.

When you consider that Nigeria centre-back Godfrey Oboabona had a much more impressive tournament and is likely to cost a lot less from Nigerian outfit Sunshine Stars you would have to wonder where the logic is in spending £4 million worth of cash on a 23-year-old who looks ordinary at best and has yet to play European football.

Now it has come to light that he is not a free agent until 2015 I would not expect to see Sunzu in the Premier League anytime soon.

image: © ennaimi

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