TP Mazembe's Zambian defender Stoppila Sunzu (Photo: Reuters)
The contract of TP Mazembe's defender Stoppila Sunzu is still valid, as the club will never stand in the way of the defender as long as the interested clubs follow the right procedure, TP Mazembe's owner Moise Katumbi said on Thursday.
Premier League's sides Sunderland and Reading were linked with the 23-year-old international defender who trained with Reading last month as a free agent.
However, the deal fell through amid confusion over the player's contract after TP Mazembe's president confirmed that Sunzu is still under contract with the Congolese side. Katumbi demanded a transfer fee believed to be £4million (about $6 million).
"The matter has been resolved after we went through the contract with everyone and the player admitted his contract was still valid," Katumbi was quoted as saying by Sky Sports on Thursday.
"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," he added. "If there are any clubs interested in him, we won't stop him from leaving, but those clubs must talk to us."
The international defender produced a string of strong performances the last year as he was shortlisted for the Confederation of African Football (CAF) African player of the year (based in Africa) award.