Orlando Pirates defender Gladwin Shitolo already went on loan to Chippa United in January. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

While Kaizer Chiefs fans wait with bated breath for signs of renewal at Naturena, their main rivals Orlando Pirates have been busy this week in an attempt to topple Mamelodi Sundowns next season.

After earlier announcing that they have let the experienced Thabo Matlaba leave the Buccaneers following a lower financial deal that was rejected by the fullback, Pirates made further moves later on Friday.

A group of four players have been released to Eastern Cape outfit Chippa United – Gladwin Shitolo (who already joined the club on loan in January), Phetso Maphanga, Diamond Thopola and Caio Marcelo.

They will provide a welcome boost to coach Clinton Larsen, after the Chilli Boys avoided relegation by just three points last season, even though they ended 12th on the league table.

Larsen stated recently that Chippa are aiming for the top eight next season.

For Pirates’ Serbian mentor Milutin Sredojevic, it is clearly about getting rid of the deadwood who were hardly part of the first-team action last season.

Mpho Makola and Meshack Maphangule have also been placed on the transfer list, while Thembela Sikhakhane will return to AmaZulu on loan for another season.

Apart from Matlaba, Shitolo, Maphanga, Thopola and Marcelo, Pirates also released Abbubaker Mobara, Thabo Qalinge, Jackson Mabokgwane and Ayanda Nkosi earlier this week.

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