For Cape Town City boss John Comitis, Lebogang Manyama’s transfer to Konyaspor in Turkey is another indication that the new Mother City PSL club is on the right track.
Manyama, the 26-year-old from Tembisa, who was last season’s PSL Footballer of the Year, sealed a much sought-after move to Europe on Thursday afternoon.
The deal was already signed on Wednesday night, but Konyaspor wanted to alter two clauses in the contract.
The Turkish club’s contractual needs were attended to on Thursday morning, the contract sent on to Cape Verde for Manyama to sign, and, by 3pm, it was official.
The deal is subject to Manyama completing a medical examination, which is scheduled for September 6 or 7 in Turkey, after the midfield schemer arrives back from Bafana Bafana duty.
Manyama, who has certainly been the most exciting player on show in the PSL over the last season, will now be looking to exhibit his skill and creativity on the European stage.
After a stellar campaign for City, in which he swept the board at last season’s PSL awards ceremony, Manyama had been in demand, both locally and overseas.
While there had been interest from Mamelodi Sundowns, Comitis was never keen to sell to a local rival. His vision has always been to see his club’s best players move on and broaden their careers in Europe.
Manyama is the first overseas transfer from the new Cape club – and Comitis is certain it won’t be the last.
“I’ve made it clear right from the onset that City want to create a platform for players to get to Europe,” said the City boss.
“This is the first such transaction, and it’s a sign for every other City player to set his sights on in following Manyama’s example. It’s just a case of dreaming big, working hard, performing consistently and being patient – eventually it will all come together.
“Now that we have Benni (McCarthy, head coach) involved, he has the experience of having played at that level and can pass on his European knowledge and experience to the players.
“And I have to add that I am very happy for Manyama, in that this is what he has wanted, and he now has the opportunity he’s always dreamed of.”
Comitis admitted, though, that financially, the amount the club received is not what he had in mind, but he was nevertheless happy to do the deal.
“In the end, it wasn’t just about the money, it was about what was best for Manyama.”
Meanwhile, in the other half of the Mother City, Ajax Cape Town have confirmed the capture of Orlando Pirates defender Tercious Malepe on a season-long loan.
The promising 20-year-old has represented South Africa at Under-20 and Under-23 level, and last month played for Bafana Bafana in the Cosafa Cup.
Malepe also captained the SA team at the Under-20 World Cup in South Korea earlier this year, which means he will link up with his national teammate Grant Margeman.