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Sithebe: Benni McCarthy addresses rumours linking AmaZulu FC star with Kaizer Chiefs

5:40 AM EST 12/24/21
Siyethembe Sithebe & Benni McCarthy, AmaZulu FC, November 2021
The reigning PSL Coach of the Season made it known that they cannot stand in a way of a player, who wants to leave Usuthu 

AmaZulu head coach Benni McCarthy has disclosed that he is aware of rumours linking one of his key players, Siyethemba Sithebe with a move to Kaizer Chiefs.

The dreadlocked attacking midfielder has missed Usuthu's last two matches which were against Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates and speculation is rife that he is set to leave the KwaZulu-Natal giants for Amakhosi in the January transfer window.  

McCarthy explained that Sithebe has been missing due to a medical condition which he picked up during their clash against Marumo Gallants last week Friday and he had to be substituted just 33 minutes into the game. 

"I have also seen a little write-up on Sithebe on Twitter if I’m not mistaken but as far as I’m concerned, he [is out because he] suffered an incident in his last game where he struggled to breathe," McCarthy told the media after Usuthu's clash against Pirates on Thursday night.

"Obviously, safety precautions matter because, for me, a footballer’s health is far more important than a game of football or winning or losing. We took precautions because he was struggling and he’s not a player who struggles. 

"He’s gone for examinations and they found out that he had an irregular heart rate. So just for safety, because you see healthy, healthy athletes who drop down and lose their lives with cardiac arrest, we didn’t want to take that chance."

The retired striker also disclosed that Sithebe, whose contract with Usuthu will reportedly expire at the end of this season, has a heart condition.

"We took precautionary measures and took him out as a safety measure. The heart is no joke so he is going through tests and medical evaluations and hopefully he will be back in the new year," McCarthy explained.

"He is very much part of our plans, and the club is working 24/7 to try and work out the situation but at the end of the day, it is down to the player. If the player has bigger ambition and he thinks the grass is greener elsewhere, then what are you to do? 

Sithebe, 28, who is a Bafana Bafana international, is one of Usuthu's most influential players, but McCarthy insists that they can never stand in the way of a player, who wants to leave the Durban-based side. 

"You don’t want to stand in anyone’s way because we want the best for the football club, we want the best for the players, we want the best for everyone," he said. 

"If the player is getting advice from outside people that is best to go there than to stay here, then so be it. We move on. There is a hungry, young talent that we can use, so that’s the situation. 

"But he is out because of a minor heart problem, but he will back to 100% in the new year."

Having joined AmaZulu from Mbombela United in 2015, Sithebe has made 119 league appearances and scored nine goals for the KwaZulu-Natal giants.