David Carabott's wish to rejoin Marsaxlokk FC after 17 years is likely to be fulfilled in the coming days as transfer talks between the southseasiders and his present club Valletta have been described as very positive.

The 35-year-old Malta skipper has set his sights on an emotional return to Marsaxlokk, the club that first unleashed his talents when he was still a burgeoning 15-year-old midfielder.

Carabott's potential move to Marsaxlokk has also been fuelled by his feud with Valletta over unpaid wages. In fact, the Malta captain, who joined the Citizens from Hibernians before season 2000-2001 filed a complaint at the Malta FA and demanded that he be granted a free release.

His complaint was heard by the Players' and Coaches' Complaints Board on Tuesday and sources told The Times that Carabott's request for a free release is unlikely to be upheld.

However, that has not deterred Marsaxlokk from pursuing interest in Carabott. Victor Sciriha, the president of Marsaxlokk who has vowed to transform the club into a force to be reckoned with in Maltese football, has had discussions with Valletta and confirmed to The Times that he is close to agreeing a deal for Carabott's transfer.

"I have approached Valletta for Carabott and discussions so far have been positive," Sciriha said. "I am confident that our bid for Carabott will be accepted."

Charles Camilleri, president of Valletta, also confirmed that negotiations with Marsaxlokk over Carabott's transfer are underway. Camilleri said that the Citizens are currently investing all their energy into assuaging their financial problems in order to lift the transfer ban imposed by the Malta FA.

Sciriha has already secured the services of Sliema Wanderers midfielder David Camilleri for one year and has reached an agreement with Pietà's left-back Kevin Mamo.

Bulgarian defender Nikolai Slavtchev is expected to report for pre-season training this evening after he joined Marsaxlokk from Marsa.

Marsaxlokk have agreed terms with Hamrun Spartans for defender Charlò Magro but the deal has not been rubber-stamped as the buyers are seeking reassurances from the Malta FA over Magro's transfer.

A Hamrun spokesman told The Times that they are still waiting for the MFA executive committee's approval of Magro's deal.

Three English players are due to arrive in Malta on Monday to start a trial with Marsaxlokk who have installed former Melita coach Robert Kelly as their new mentor.

Kelly replaces J.J. Aquilina whose contract has not been extended by Marsaxlokk despite leading the team to sixth place in their first season in the Premier League.

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