parker is in demand in Europe

BELGRADE - Bafana Bafana Bernard Parker is not only the darling of South African football supporters, he is also loved by myriad soccer fans here in Serbia.

BELGRADE - Bafana Bafana Bernard Parker is not only the darling of South African football supporters, he is also loved by myriad soccer fans here in Serbia.

The fans here have literally gone down on their knees to plead with the management of Red Star Belgrade to do everything in their power to ensure that the want-away forward returns to the club.

And one of the club's officials, Nemanja Filipovic, has promised to pull out all the stops to ensure Parker returns to the team.

"We understand his situation and we are trying to sort out the matter," said Filipovic.

"We really want him back because he is such a fantastic player. I know that we can easily lose him because we are aware of huge interest from other European teams."

He said they had made Parker's agent Mike Makaab aware of their eagerness to keep the Bafana star.

But Parker wants out of Red Star because of unpaid salaries and signing-on fee.

He joined them during the January transfer window on a three-season contract from relegated Premier Soccer League side Thanda Royal Zulu.

He played regularly for Red Star and helped the club finish third on the log to qualify for the Uefa Europa League (formerly Uefa Cup).

Teams that are said to be courting Parker include Tsepo Masilela's Maccabi Haifa of Israel and Fernebahce of Turkey.

Absa Premiership giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates must be following the developments with keen interest as they are said to be also after the signature of the talented forward.

Attempts to contact Parker and Makaab drew a blank yesterday.

Makaab is on record, though, as saying they will have to look elsewhere if the financial situation does not improve at Red Star.

The situation at the club is due to the economic downturn that has hit the world.

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