Michael Mifsud has hit out at the rumour-mongers who keep linking him with an imminent move to a local club.
Champions Valletta have made no secret of their interest in the Malta captain but speculation was rife yesterday that Birkirkara were closing in on Mifsud.
These latest reports have been vigorously denied by Mifsud.
“I don’t know where these stories come from,” Mifsud told The Times.
“It’s unbelievable how people seem only interested in spreading rumours. There’s no truth in reports that I’m about to join a particular club... at the moment I’m just trying to relax.
“The only thing I can confirm is that I’m doing my best to continue my career overseas. I’ve had discussions with some foreign clubs.”
Regarded as one of the best all-time Maltese players, Mifsud has kept the fans guessing about his next move since leaving Coventry City in the summer of 2009.
A target for a host of clubs, local and foreign, Mifsud left it until March last year to resume his career after agreeing a short-term deal with Valletta whom he helped to the National League 100 Anniversary Cup and the U*Bet FA Trophy.
Mifsud was again courted by a number of clubs last term, including rivals Valletta and Floriana, before eventually joining Qormi at the start of February.
As his short-term contract with Qormi has expired, Mifsud is again free to talk to other clubs and there has been no shortage of interest in Malta’s all-time leading scorer.
Mifsud, who scored Malta’s only goal in the 3-1 defeat to Greece in a Euro 2012 qualifier earlier this month, pointed out that Valletta are the only Maltese club who have declared an interest in him.
“Until now, I’ve been approached by one Maltese club and that is Valletta,” Mifsud said.
“But, as I said, my priority is to secure a move abroad and that’s why I’m still assessing my options.”
Valletta had been keen to tie up a deal with Mifsud early in view of their Champions League commitments later this month but their chances of landing the striker in time to include him in their squad are looking remote now.
With striker Terrence Scerri serving a long-term suspension, Valletta, spearheaded by president Victor Sciriha, have moved quickly to increase their attacking options with the signings of Ousseni Zongo, of Burkina Faso, and Serbian journeyman Miodrag Andjelkovic.
A Brazilian striker by the name of William Barbosa Da Silva joined Valletta for a trial yesterday.
These foreign players are expected to play a part in Valletta’s Euro Cup opener against rivals and FA Trophy winners Floriana on Friday.
Meanwhile, Birkirkara also resumed training just a few weeks after the end of the 2010/11 season in order to prepare for their participation in the Europa League.
Patrick Curmi, Birkirkara’s newly-appointed coach, is currently running the rule over Italian winger Jacopo Camilli, 24, who also trained with the Stripes last summer.
An Argentine forward is also practising with Birkirkara who are awaiting two Brazilian players, a forward and a defender, to join them for a trial later this week.
Spanish goalkeeper Jorge Mora, a member of Birkirkara’s title-winning squad in season 2009/10, is also training with the team but hasn’t signed a contract yet.
After electing a new committee last week, Birkirkara are in talks with left-back Joseph Zerafa over a new deal.
Tarxien Rainbows, who have confirmed coach Noel Coleiro for next season, have retained three of the five Brazilian players they had last season, namely Daniel Mariano Bueno, Everton and Ricardo Costa.
The Blues are widely expected to sign a 20-year-old Brazilian forward for next season. Martin Deanov was on the verge of joining Tarxien but the move is on hold after the two parties failed to agree terms.
Sliema Wanderers have reached an agreement with Valletta to extend Steve Bezzina’s loan for another season. Malta U-21 striker Terrence Vella, who played on loan with Birkirkara last term, is believed to be a target for Sliema who will start their pre-season training on Monday.