Phiri: Bafana Bafana midfielder responds to reports linking him with Trabzonspor as Mikel replacement

Bafana Bafana international Lebogang Phiri has opened up about reports linking him with Turkish Super Lig side Trabzonspor.

The central midfielder was one of EA Guingamp's best players during the 2019/20 French Ligue 2 season which was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic last April.

Phiri's exploits have not gone unnoticed as Trabzonspor and French clubs Nimes Olympique, RC Strasbourg and Stade Brestois are all reportedly interested in his services.

Scroll to continue with content

According to Fotospor, Phiri and Nigerian midfielder Azubuike Okechukwu of Turkish side Istanbul Ba┼čaksehir have been identified as possible replacements for John Obi Mikel, who left Trabzonspor last March.

Phiri has confirmed the interest from the above-mentioned clubs having joined Guingamp three years ago on a four-year deal which means he has one year left on his contract.

"When I signed that four-year contract, I told myself I'll be dedicated for the next four years to this team and make sure they get the best of me and doing so I can improve myself," Phiri told Carol Tshabalala on an Instagram Live.

"I've had Strasbourg, Trabzonspor, I had Brest recently, Nimes were interested. But I'm not one to fight over club's coming to me because I've pushed and done so much for you but on the other hand I've received a lot too."

The former Bidvest Wits academy player is hoping to hold talks with the Guingamp management regarding his future with the club.

"So, I'm going to respect you if you respect me but if that doesn't happen [anymore] that's when I will consider moving.  Until then I feel Guimgamp have done an exceptional job grooming Lebogang Phiri to who he is today," he added.

"I appreciate that and respect it, but with a year left I need to discuss my future in the board room [soon]."

Phiri was appointed new Guingamp captain midway through the 2019/20 campaign and he made 25 appearances in Ligue 2 - scoring once and registering three assists in the process.

He joined the Red and Blacks from Brondby IF prior to the start of the 2017/18 season after playing a key role in helping the team finish second in the Danish Superliga.

What to read next