Shonga: Maritimo ready to open talks over Orlando Pirates striker - Agent

Orlando Pirates striker Justin Shonga is a wanted man in Europe according to his agent Karabo Mathang.

The Zambia international, who has struggled for game time this season, is on the radar of Portuguese club CS Maritimo.

Mathang indicated that it is up to Pirates to seal Shonga's move to the Funchal-based side, which is campaigning in the Primeira Liga.

“Yes, there is interest in Justin from Portugal. It is now for the two clubs to negotiate and try and find a transfer deal if there is one," Mathang told IOL.

“It would be unfair for me to say that [his dream is to go play in Europe] because he is still under contract and has an obligation with his employer.

“Once that contract is fulfilled and honoured, we can then focus on things outside of that Orlando Pirates is a very good club to be employed by."

Although Shonga has seen limited game time at club level, the 23-year-old remains a regular in the Zambia national team.

"Even if international teams are interested in his services, they must engage the team where he is employed. Until then, he will always be committed to his employer," Mathang added.

“Even if you have dreams, those are personal. There’s something beautiful about fulfilling that dream. I know his ambition and dreams and I’d prefer to keep that private."

Before the current season was suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic, Shonga was down in the pecking order with Tshegofatso Mabasa and Frank Mhango preferred ahead of him at Pirates.

However,  Shonga has not been deflated by this situation according to his representative, who believes that the former Nkwazi FC player will be ready to deliver for the team when he is given another chance to impress.

“When you are at a club, you are a part of the team. It is not about individuals. The coronavirus did affect everyone. Everyone has a fair opportunity now to fight for game time," she said.

“I don’t think it was more of concern prior to Covid-19, but it was something that he had to work on. He is a phenomenal player. Justin is an international player and respected footballer.

“When his time to play comes, he will deliver. It was important to respect the plans of the club at that time. He had to respect the process. It wasn’t a concern to him, but it was more of a challenge for him to take on.”

Shonga's compatriot Collins Mbesuma, who is a former Pirates striker, was on the books of Maritimo during the 2006/07 season.