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Updated: Federico Marchetti and Christoffer Maffoumbi battling for Ħamrun Spartans transfer

Ħamrun Spartans will choose to sign either Christoffer Mafoumbi (left) or Federico Marchetti. Photos: AFP

Former Italy goalkeeper Federico Marchetti and Christoffer Mafoumbi, a Congolese international are the two main candidates to sign for Ħamrun Spartans this week ahead of their UEFA Champions League qualifier against Maccabi Haifa next week, the Times of Malta can confirm.

The Spartans are currently mulling to bringing in an experienced goalkeeper to their squad following the injury of their no.1 custodian Henry Bonello during  

The Malta international goalkeeper suffered a hand fracture during Malta’s Euro 2024 qualifying defeat to Ukraine in Trnava. He underwent surgery late last month but it is highly unlikely that he will recover full fitness ahead of next week’s Champions League first-leg clash against Maccabi Haifa.

Earlier this month, the Times of Malta had reported that Marchetti was one of the three options the Malta champions were looking to sign and the Italian is understood to be set to travel to Malta on Monday in a bid to finalise his move.

However, the Times of Malta contacted top officials from the Premier League champions who while they confirmed that Marchetti was one of the candidates for the role of goalkeeper, the Reds also considering to offer a contract to Mafoumbi.

The towering Congolese goalkeeper is a familiar figure in Maltese football as he was on the books of Premier League side Mosta for two years, between 2020 and 2022.

Last year, he left the Premier League club and headed to Luxembourg where he joined top-flight side Differdange with whom he made 18 appearances.

Marchetti is likely to be the favourite to sign for the Spartans given his strong relationship with the new club head coach Luciano Zauri.

In fact, Marchetti and Zauri were team-mates at Serie A club Lazio and has since maintained a good relationship.

Added to that the former Lazio goalkeeper brings with him years of experience playing in the Italian Serie A and for the Italian national team.

At present, Zauri has two fully fit goalkeepers in Brazilian Winiston Cristian Santos and young goalkeeper Matthias Debono.

Debono is expected to be part of the Spartans squad for their Champions League qualifier against Maccabi Haifa but after the club’s adventure in Europe, he is expected to move on loan with Naxxar Lions.

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