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Permit Problem For New Striker

Coventry City manager Gordon Strachan might be forced to shop around for a new striker just a week into the First Division season.

The Sky Blues boss is still without Julian Joachim who picked up an ankle injury just fifteen minutes into his first friendly appearance after joining from Aston Villa.

But Strachan has today been hit by the news that South African striker Phil Masinga will not receive a work permit.

City thought they had pulled off a transfer coup last month when the 32-year-old agreed to join from Italian side Bari on a free transfer, but the deal has now been scuppered by red tape.

However, the club intend to appeal over the matter as a Football League representative was not on the panel that decided to rule against Masinga’s move to Highfield Road, but if that fails Strachan will need to add to his personnel in the striking department.

Lee Hughes and Jay Bothroyd struck up a good partnership in Coventry’s 2-0 win against Stockport at the weekend but the Sky Blues manager is reluctant to use Bothroyd week-in-week-out.

South Americans Ysrael Zuniga and Jairo Martinez are still waiting in the wings but Strachan does not see them as long term cover for his first choice strikers.

That means he may have to dip into the transfer market to find suitable reserves, but chairman Bryan Richardson insists the Masinga matter is not over and done with.

He said:

“You can imagine our anger. Phil Masinga was granted a work permit to play for Leeds United years ago when he was relatively unknown and had played just eight times for his country.

“We produced documentation that he has now played 58 times for South Africa. He has played for FC Zurich and for the last four years in the Italian Serie A for Bari. He clearly meets all the standards of ability anyone could ask for.”  

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CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 15 Aug 01
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