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TRANSFER NEWS: Maritzburg confirm Awal sale

South African side Maritzburg United have announced that they have sold Ghana defender Mohammed Awal to Saudi Arabian side Al-Shabab – ending talk he was destined for local rivals Orlando Pirates.

Awal, who joined the Team of Choice in 2012, will link up with his new employers after the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea.

The 18-month bumper deal was sealed by the South African side, even though the towering was at the tournament in Equatorial Guinea

Reports from Ghana previously suggested Awal was heading to Pirates or another side in Moldova but Maritzburg opted for the bumper deal in Saudi Arabia.

“We would like to thank the player for his outstanding contribution at Maritzburg United and wish him all the best for his future,” United team manager Quintin Jettoo told the club’s official website.

“We signed Mohammed as a relatively unknown player and we are proud to have been able to help in his development as he went on to become a regular in the Ghana national team, which naturally has brought a lot of interest in him.

“We will certainly miss Mohammed in the team, but we are fortunate to have a fair amount of depth in the centre-back position and we are confident that the players we have will use the opportunity to step up and stake a regular place in the starting eleven.”

The tough-tackling and composed central defender has been a mainstay in the Team of Choice’s defence since joining the club in 2012 and has enhanced his reputation with some consistently outstanding performances.

Awal will join the club immediately after the African Cup of Nations, where Awal and his Ghana team-mates play against Equatorial Guinea in a semi-final match on Thursday night.