Johannesburg - Manning Rangers have slapped a R1-million price tag on coach Gordon Igesund and are adamant that he would not be up for sale to potential buyers for anything less.
Rangers boss KC Reddy confirmed on Wednesday that two clubs had shown an interest in signing the highly successful "Mighty Maulers'" coach, who was also one of the front runners for the Bafana Bafana post left vacant by the departure of Frenchman Phillipe Troussier at the end of the World Cup last year.
"Gordon has three-and-a-half years of his contract to run at Rangers and as far as we are concerned he is still the coach of Rangers until we have something definite on the table," Reddy said.
"There are two clubs - which I will not name - who have shown an interest in Gordon. We will not stand in his way if he wants to go . . . I don't want an unhappy person at Rangers."
Explaining the R1-million tag, Reddy said soccer is a business and if, for instance, he opted to sack Igesund then they would be forced to pay him out for the remainder of his contract. One these grounds he felt anyone wanting Ingesund's services must pay.
"If any club wants him that is what they must be prepared to pay," Reddy said. "There are few top coaches in South Africa forcing us to go outside the country to get one. And believe me they don't come cheap."
Reddy said he was currently negotiating for a new coach, in the event Igesund did make a move.
"I am talking to two European coaches who are coaching in Africa. Obviously, we have to keep our options open and must be prepared if Gordon leaves," he said, adding that they do not interfere in the coach's work.
"We are one of the few clubs who are very organised and I must say, with the exception of Kaizer Chiefs, we are second to none administratively. We have a policy at Rangers that we don't interfere with the coach . . . he does his job and we do ours.
"We do meet on Monday to discuss any problems he may have and any problems we may have and try to resolve them. We are five directors and only the managing director and the chairman talk to the coach.
"We hear people saying that Igesund made Rangers, but nobody is saying that Rangers made Igesund. When Mike Makaab joined us he was not known, but we made him, the same was with Gordon . . . he was also little known and look at him now."
Orlando Pirates and Seven Stars are two of the clubs who have apparently shown an interest in Igesund, but he would not refute or confirm the speculation. "I can't comment on any of that . . . I have over three years left on contract with Rangers and for now I want to concentrate on winning the league," Igesund said.
Despite parading some of the best talent in the country, Pirates cupboard is pretty bare and have not enjoyed much success under Russian coach Viktor Bondarenko this season.
Seven Stars and Cape Town Spurs are to join forces to form Ajax Cape Town next season and feel Igesund is the right man to steer the fortunes of the new club.
Meanwhile, Reddy said he would await the outcome of Wednesday night's match between Rangers and Kaizer Chiefs at the Johannesburg Stadium before revealing his hand on signing any new players.
"It will be make or break tonight for us. If we win I am convinced we will take this league, but if we lose we will be out of the race. I will then know what to do," he said.
In another development, Reddy said he was pleased that former Rangers' midfielder David Modise - who is now with Cape Town Spurs - had apologised to the club for his "outrageous" claims after recently alleging that he was not paid by Rangers after they clinched the 1997-98 championship.
"We had an agreement that the players, depending on the number of matches, would be paid on a pro rata basis for every game won. Modise's claims he was not paid were simply not true and I threatened to sue him for wrongfully accusing us," Reddy said.
"He wrote us a letter to apologise. I don't believe in making enemies as I love this game and will not take it any further." - Sapa