Former Kaizer Chiefs star Pule Ekstein joins Azerbaijan side Sabah FC
Former Kaizer Chiefs star Pule Ekstein has joined Sabah FC on a two-year contract and will be playing his football in Azerbaijan next season.
His agent Palesa Mkhize told TimesLIVE on Thursday that the player jetted out of the country on Wednesday night to begin life in the Azerbaijan Premier League.
“Ekstein boarded the flight to Azerbaijan on Wednesday night to join Sabah on a two-year deal.
"He’s very excited to realise his dream of playing overseas‚” said an equally elated Mkhize.
“We sent one of the guys that we worked with to check and talk to the club‚ and that’s how they got to know about his availability after his contract expired at Chiefs.
“The deal that we got is better than what we had from clubs in South Africa and joining that team could be a step towards better things for Ekstein‚ with bigger clubs in Europe always scouting for better players."
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Ekstein was developed at Chiefs before he was promoted to the first team in 2015.
His contract was to expire on June 30 but the two parties agreed to terminate it in April when they couldn't reach a breakthrough during negotiations.
Mkhize told TimesLIVE earlier this week that Cape Town City were the only SA side that made inquiries about the player's availability and came close to signing him during the domestic off-season.
But the 28-year-old opted on his first overseas stint with Sabah‚ a club that narrowly escaped relegation after finishing seventh in a eight-team league last season.
“Considering the offers he was getting here (in SA)‚ his new deal with Sabah is far better‚" Mkhize said.
"He will have to work his way up from there.
"Dino Ndlovu was playing in the same league before and looks where he’s been after that.
“Ndlovu got bought from that league and now he’s probably one of the highly paid SA players abroad.
"It’s a good opportunity for him to showcase his talent to show the country there that South Africans can play.”