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Mamelodi Sundowns

Why Downs & Bucs Are Behind In Race For Wits Star

While still somewhat in the running for a Bidvest Wits player who is not expected to relocate to Venda, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns have fallen behind in the race for his signature.

The Siya crew reported on Friday that Sifiso Hlanti is unlikely to make the great trek to Thohoyandou when businessman Masala Mulaudzi moves the Clever Boys to Limpopo next season as he prefers to remain in Gauteng.

Read: Why Restart Delay Suits Chiefs FIFA Case

Pirates and Downs have shown an interest in Hlanti, but insiders say it’s Kaizer Chiefs who are favourites to sign him despite the FIFA ban, which the club hopes can be overturned on September 9 during the hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The Buccaneers must also consider the competition for the left fullback position, where they appear to be quite loaded.

Innocent Maela, Paseka Mako, Bongani Sam and Tebogo Tlolane, who is currently on loan at Maritzburg United, have been used sparingly in that role, though Maela is the one nailed on as the regular.

Scroll through the gallery to see 13 players on Chiefs' wishlist 

Hlanti plays ahead of Maela in the national team, so what would his potential arrival mean for a player that has made the left back position his own over the last two seasons with at Pirates?

Should Hlanti become a free agent, you can expect Pirates to push to land a player of his calibre and experience, though that could lead to potential exits to some who would be faced with limited game time.

It was initially thought the Downs had dropped out of the tussle to try sign Hlanti, especially because of their focus had now seemingly shifted towards luring Aubrey Modiba away from SuperSport United.

The Siya crew understands that Sundowns are edging closer to the Modiba deal and are believed to have tabled a five-year contract said to be worth an upward of R4-million per annum if he moves to Chloorkop.

But the reality is that Downs’ approach of Modiba has been botched in the last two transfer windows, resulting in SuperSport handing the player a long-term contract instead. So, there are still no guarantees yet that the move will materialise.

Hlanti could very well be another alternative even though he is six years older than Modiba – his biggest trump card, however, is that Sundowns could land him without spending the kind of money they are likely to throw at SuperSport.

Read: Chiefs Coach On PSL Club Wanted List?


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