The 28-year-old Bafana Bafana midfield ace penned a five-year deal with Sundowns on Friday. Chiefs were seriously interested in luring Jali to Naturena and it looked like they were going to secure his services, but in the end Sundowns won him over.
Makaab made it clear that money wasn’t the reason why Jali ended up signing for Sundowns.
“He felt that maybe his playing style will be more suited for Sundowns. He took a long time to make the decision. Both teams had similar offers. You could have tossed the coin and it could have gone either way. At the end he wanted to join Sundowns,” Makaab said.
Jali will battle it out with the likes of Hlompo Kekana, Tiyani Mabunda, Oupa Manyisa and Lucky Mohomi in the middle of the park.
“The other thing that Andile considered was the fact that he played for Orlando Pirates before and it was going to be difficult for him if he ended up at Chiefs. It wasn’t easy at all. This is one of the toughest transfer I’ve ever done locally,” Makaab said.
Benedict Vilakazi and Sibusiso Zuma were the darlings of Pirates supporters before embarking on their European stints. The duo joined Sundowns on their return to South Africa and their time with the club wasn’t successful.
“Jali is in his prime of his career. That’s why he signed a five-year deal. He is committed to Sundowns. There’s no concerned maybe he might fail. He had four years of success in Belgium and is ready to prove himself,” Maakab added.
Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane was also worried that the arrival of Jali might divide his team but Maakab cooled down those concerns.
“He is matured. He is more professional. Pitso sat down with him and explained what he is expected of him. He is an experienced coach.” Makaab concluded.
Meanwhile, Pirates have secured the services of Vincent Pule and Asavela Mbekile for the new season.
“Pule and Mbekile have signed for Pirates. They will be unveiled at the end of the month,” a source said.
Pule has also been in the radar of Kaizer Chiefs. The left-footer decided against renewing his contract with Wits, meanwhile Mbekile struggled for game time at Sundowns.
Pirates have been busy in this transfer window signing the likes of Paseka Mako, Abel Mabaso, Meshack Maphangule, Brilliant Khuzwayo and Kudakwashe Mahachi. Pirates administrative manager Floyd Mbele said he knew nothing about Pule and Mbekile.
The club have also sold Brighton Mhlongo to Bidvest Wits.