Sundowns, Pirates could be in for SuperSport United’s Modiba and Grobler
JOHANNESBURG - The economic struggles as a result of the coronavirus pandemic have forced SuperSport United to consider the offers for two integral squad members, Aubrey Modiba and Bradley Grobler, ahead of next season to balance the books.
It is common knowledge that winger Modiba has been on Mamelodi Sundowns’ radar for the last few seasons - having been a favourite of coach Pitso Mosimane. But SuperSport had dismissed Sundowns’ lucrative offers, insisting that Modiba is not for sale locally.
To back their statement, in February, Matsatsantsa a Pitori slapped the 24-year-old Nedbank Cup Ke Yona search graduate with a new four-year deal that would see him stay at the club at least until June 2024.
Well, that was pre-Covid-19. As the coronavirus brought the world to a standstill in recent months, bringing the economy to its knees, most business entities have been forced to go back on their word. And so too SuperSport.
Yesterday, chief executive Stan Matthews said the Pretoria giants are willing to sell “Postman”, who has been one of the standout players, for a bigger fee, suggesting that they are willing to gamble with losing Modiba as they have enough depth.
During the January transfer window, SuperSport signed Democratic Republic of Congo playmaker Guily Manziba, adding to their host of wingers that included Modiba, Kudakwashe Mahachi, Evans Rusike and Gampani Lungu.
“When we narrow down to what kind of players that we can sell, it will narrow down to Aubrey Modiba. He’s been the one who’s been linked with the most moves and Sundowns have been pursuing him the most,” Matthews said during a press briefing with members of the South African Football Journalists Association (Safja).
“He’s the one that has been with us for a good period of time since he arrived from Cape Town City. He’s given us good service and trophies. It would be sensible (to sell him) that already on the wing positions I have good depth.”
Granted that Sundowns have made swift strides in securing their new additions for next season, so why is it that SuperSport are yet to consider Modiba’s offer before the current term concludes on September 5?
“I think we are at a point with Aubrey where they (Sundowns) have tabled a very good offer to us. But we have taken a view that given the situation, we’ve got six games left and I don’t know what our situation will be at the end,” Matthews said.
“We could finish third and have CAF (commitments) next season, that also has an impact on our decisions and what we do. From that perspective, there is still water to flow under the bridge. I am not in the transfer window right now; we have six games left and have to get the best out of our assets.”
Matthews also confirmed that the club’s top goal scorer Grobler, who’s notched 15 domestic goals this season, will be allowed to leave at the end of the season should a right offer come, despite having started negotiations to have him part of the coaching set-up at the end of his career.
“I’ve offered him a coaching spot at the end of his career. But at the end of the day, money is money now. If Bradley gets offered something big, I don’t think somebody at SuperSport will say, ‘we are expecting you to serve out’,” Matthews said.
The 32-year-old Bafana Bafana striker has been linked with a move to Orlando Pirates in recent months.
And with SuperSport willing to offer him their blessings, he may join a long list of players - which include Teko Modise and Daine Klate - that have made the successful move from Pretoria to Soweto.