The Sea Robbers had set their sights on signing Bafana Bafana and Bidvest Wits captain, Thulani Hlatshwayo. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

DURBAN – The activity during the local League transfer window has, so far, been less than exciting but things look set for a fascinating end on deadline day, next Monday.

Most PSL clubs concluded their deals quite early but there was no real big name signings to set any tongues wagging. Prominent clubs such as Kaizer Chiefs have gone for unknown international talent. The Phefeni Boys captured the signatures of Lazarus Nkambole, James Koeti, Samir Nurkovic, Kearyn Baccus and Yagan Sasman while Sundowns acquired the services of Mauricio Affonso and Sammy Seabi.

Orlando Pirates are the only big team that have gone on a shopping spree so far. The Buccaneers added Siphesihle Ndlovu, Fortune Makaringe, Tshegofasto Mabasa, Tebogo Tlolane, Kabelo Dlamini, Gabadinho Mhango and Bongani Sam to their squad. While these players do not make the cut in the “big fish” category, there is no doubt that they are quality signings that have increased the depth in the Buccaneers’ camp. 

The new boys made a serious impact in the last couple of seasons while plying their trade at clubs with modest ambitions. Pirates are a different kettle of fish though, their quality will be put to the test in a more demanding Bucs set-up.

It was an open secret that the Sea Robbers had set their sights on signing Bafana Bafana and Bidvest Wits captain, Thulani Hlatshwayo. That signing, however, has collapsed as the big centre-back has reportedly extended his contract with his club, a move that rules out the possibility of him joining Pirates.

It remains a big question whether the Buccaneers are still hunting for another player of his quality to sign within the next five days.

Orlando Pirates are the only big team that have gone on a shopping spree so far with Fortune Makaringe part of their acquisitions.Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

PSL football has seen some big signings on the stroke of deadline before. Two seasons ago, Rivaldo Coetzee sealed a last minute deal with Mamelodi Sundowns from Ajax Cape Town on deadline day.

Anything can still happen as Pirates are in desperate need of a player of Hlatshwayo’s calibre to hold together their shaky defence. I do expect the Sea Robbers to still push hard for the services of a mature centre-back in the mould of the Bafana skipper.

On the other hand, Sundowns are known for lavish spending to get whatever they want. For some time, Brazilians coach Pitso Mosimane has been eyeing Aubrey Modiba and Tebogo Mokoena from SuperSport. Lately, Downs have been rumoured to have made advances to rekindle their relationship with Khama Billiat.

SuperSport United and Kaizer Chiefs are not willing to listen to their offers. But Sundowns will not give up easily and it would be interesting to watch whether SuperSport and Chiefs can resist the money. My sense is that a last minute deal may be struck. As much as Matsatsantsa A Pitori do not want to sell to their rivals they would probably love to go for a sweetner in the deal possibly involving Lucky Mohomi, Aubrey Ngoma and Jeremy Brockie being roped into their set-up.

Chiefs signed Billiat for free at the beginning of last season and their bank balance will be healthier if they sell him. In a mean business operation like Chiefs, mega millions for a player you got for nothing is a jackpot. So, how much would Chiefs want for Billiat? These are all the questions that they will be asking themselves in the coming days.

Amakhosi are, however, unlikely to make another major signing. But expect a headline grabbing signing from either Pirates or Sundowns.


The Mercury

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