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Patosi: Why reported Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates target didn't join Persepolis - Foolad's Nekounam

5:30 PM GMT+8 22/02/2022
Ayanda Patosi, Foolad Khuzestan, February 2020
The 29-year-old, who is a well-travelled player, was linked with Iran's biggest and most successful club earlier this month

Foolad FC have explained why Ayanda Patosi's proposed transfer to their Iranian rivals, Persepolis, failed to materialise. 

It was reported that Persepolis were determined to do a swap deal involving Patosi and Mehdi Shiri during the recent Iranian winter transfer window which closed on February 12. 

However, the Bafana Bafana playmaker stayed put at Foolad where he is one of the team's most vital players having helped the Ahvaz-based side win last season's Iranian Cup for the first time in the club's history.

Foolad head coach Javad Nekounam stressed Patosi's importance to his team having overcome his weight issues and injury problem.

"Patosi is a very technical and creative player whose efficiency in our team is clear," Nekounam said on Fararu.

"Unfortunately, when I joined the team, Patosi had been injured for two weeks and was far from ideal."

Shiri did join Foolad from Persepolis over a week ago after the two Persian Gulf Pro League clubs reached an agreement regarding the defender's transfer.  

However, Nekounam - a former Iran international widely regarded as one of Asia's greatest footballers - explained that Foolad were not interested in doing an exchange deal involving Patosi.

"He was very overweight when I came in and it was out of control and we had to work on the player's injury," he continued. 

"But after that, his condition improved and he played for us. Minus the Super Cup match, he has played in all games and now his condition is good. 

"We will not exchange him and we would not like to lose this player."

Patosi was a noticeable absentee from the Foolad team which clinched the Iranian Super Cup on February 7 as they defeated Persepolis 1-0 and the club confirmed that he was missing due to a positive Covid-19 test.

His current deal with Foolad is set to expire at the end of June this year with South Africa's biggest football clubs, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates having been credited with an interest in him.

He has indicated that he would be interested in joining one of the two Soweto giants after leaving Foolad.