Goalkeeper Bonello seals Valletta loan switch Published on: 10-07-2015
Valletta have struck a deal with Sliema Wanderers to sign goalkeeper Henry Bonello on loan for one season with an option to make his move permanent.
Bonello’s switch to Valletta will come as a surprise to many as he had been tipped to prolong his stay with Hibs after helping them win the Premier League title during a season-long loan spell in 2014-15.
Talks between Sliema and Hibs broke down and the Citizens declared their interest in Bonello after coach Paul Zammit identified the signing of an established keeper as a top priority.
Zammit will be delighted to have finally secured the signature of Bonello after his bid to recruit the 26-year-old last summer while still in charge of Birkirkara had ended in disappointment.
Until last week, it looked as though Valletta had concluded their search for a goalkeeper after Ukrainian Oleksandr Musiyenko travelled to Malta to finalise talks with the club.
Musiyenko had been recommended by Zammit but the City coach has had second thoughts about signing a foreign goalkeeper after re-assessing his outfield options in the wake of Malta defender Steve Borg’s move to Cypriot club Aris Limassol.
The shortage of Maltese players in the squad following the departures of Borg, Ryan Fenech, who has signed for Balzan, and veteran defender Luke Dimech, now at Sliema Wanderers, is believed to have been central to Zammit’s decision to opt for Bonello instead of Musiyenko who has already returned to Ukraine while Italian Pietro Marino will not be retained for the new season.
The other goalkeepers on Valletta’s books are Nicky Vella, who started yesterday’s Europa League match against Welsh side Newtown AFC, and veteran Manuel Bartolo.
Jean Borg transfer
Yesterday, it was also confirmed that Valletta, runners-up to Hibs last season, are also on the verge of agreeing terms with Division Three club Attard over the transfer of defender Jean Borg.
A member of the Malta squad that took part in the UEFA U-17 Championship last year, Borg played for Valletta’s youth teams last season after joining on loan.
Over the past few weeks, the Citizens stepped up their efforts to acquire Borg on a permanent basis after the stocky youngster, who can also play in midfield, was promoted to the senior squad by Zammit.
Source - Times of Malta
Source - Times of Malta