Dons striker still in limbo

Gerba remains in Canada

New MK Dons signing Ali Gerba is still no closer to completing his permanent switch to stadium:mk despite agreeing terms with the club some three weeks ago.

The 25-year-old Canadian international recently flew back to his native country to feature for Canada in last Wednesday's CONCACAF World Cup qualifier against Jamaica and has so far not returned to Milton Keynes.

"We are still waiting to get his passport stamped at the British Embassy in Canada. But we hope that he gets it done this week and then he'll be over," said Dons manager Roberto Di Matteo.

The Italian agreed to sign the former US Major League striker after he impressed while on trial at the Dons, with the player claiming to have turned down an offer from former side Montreal Impact in favour of a move to the League One newcomers.

The Citizen now understands Gerba has been training with his home town club at their Saputo Stadium in Quebec ahead of their upcoming CONCACAF Champions' League tie with Real Estel FC.

But the Dons maintain the player remains in Canada to complete the formalities of his work permit and will be back at stadium:mk in due course.

However, with his Canada side set to take on Honduras in their latest World Cup qualifier on September 6, it looks likely to be some time yet before Dons fans get to see their new international striker in action.

The club's other on-going transfer saga may well come to an end before Saturday's game with Di Matteo saying a "club statement" regarding the future of Keith Andrews is imminent.

The club have refused to comment on the Irishman's future to date, despite the fact he's missed the club's last three games.

Andrews watched from the stands at Cardiff before Di Matteo remarked: "There is going to be some statement from the club about him shortly, so I will just leave that up to the club."

That means Flavien Belson and Alan Navarro are left to fight for a place alongside Peter Leven in the centre of the Dons' midfield against Swindon on Saturday.

In defence Danny Swailes' achilles injury is still causing him problems with Di Matteo not likely to risk him as Jude Stirling continues to look more at home at the heart of defence. Florian Sturm and Luke Howell are also likely to miss out with knocks.

But Aaron Wilbraham, who was not risked for the Cardiff game, should be fine to play on Saturday.

Di Matteo is keeping his cards close to his chest though and wouldn't give too much away about Saturday's team selection.

He said:"Three games in seven days is tough – I know that myself. So that was the reason for the changes at Cardiff.

"A couple of players had little knocks and we didn't want to risk them as we have a very long season ahead of us."