Kaizer Chiefs yesterday confirmed their interest in signing Mamelodi Sundowns striker Katlego Mphela on a pre-contract for next season.
Amakhosi team manager Bobby Motaung said they were sending a letter to the Brazilians, asking for permission to discuss a deal with the 29-year-old forward, whose contract with the Choorklop side expires at the end of the current campaign.
“We are sending them (Sundowns) an official letter to request negotiations with the player (Mphela). It is a pre-contract, but we have to officially inform them (Sundowns) of our intentions,” Motaung told The Star yesterday.
Mphela has had limited game time at Sundowns this season, making just five league appearances, all from the bench, and contributing two goals.
Sundowns have resisted selling the player in the past, but Pitso Mosimane will have no choice but to let him go if the player decides not to renew his contract.
Bafana Bafana’s third highest goalscorer could well see the move to Naturena as a chance to revitalise his career.
Mphela’s agent, Glyn Binkin, was coy on what would happen to the striker.
“I met with him (Mphela) a couple of days ago, he was abroad on holiday, he has a number of options, to stay at the club (Sundowns), to sign a pre-contract, or to go overseas.
“I know now what he wants to do, and I am working on delivering it,” said Binkin.
He added that the “main” South African interest in Mphela was from Chiefs and SuperSport United, while there was also interest from “China, Scandinavia and the UAE”.
The move for Mphela signals an end to Chiefs’ interest in another Sundowns striker, Edward Manqele, who is on loan at Moroka Swallows.
“He (Manqele) belongs to Sundowns, and Pitso has been saying he is in his plans,” said Motaung.
Motaung, meanwhile, added that the potential breakdown of striker Lehlohonolo Majoro’s move to SuperSport United would not affect the transfer of SuperSport midfielder George Maluleka to Amakhosi.
Maluleka has already started training with Chiefs, his transfer originally partly a swop deal involving Majoro, and Motaung said: “It doesn’t affect the Maluleka situation… we are trying to finalise the (Majoro) matter and make a call on it, it is between him and his agent to come back to us by close of business today.
“It will have no impact on Maluleka. Between ourselves and SuperSport, we understand how we can remedy this.” - The Star