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Pirates’ Malepe Headache

Orlando Pirates have a decision to make on a South African youth international who spent the last season on loan at Chippa United.

Read: Stay or Leave? Defender In Contractual Crossroad

At the start of the 2019/20 season, Tercious Malepe did not form part of coach Milutin Sredojevic’s plans and was subsequently sent out on loan to Chippa United. And although Sredo­jevic has since been replaced by Josef Zinnbauer, Siya sources have indi­cated that Malepe could be leaving Bucs.

The utility player is set to re­turn to the Soweto giants follow­ing what has been a good season for the 23-year-old. Despite the chopping and changing of coaches at the Port Elizabeth-based out­fit, Malepe has been a consistent performer for the club, making 27 appearances for the club in all competitions.

Now, in anticipation of the 2020/21 campaign, the Siya crew understands that the Pirates development product has grown dis­gruntled with the lack of stability in his career and is looking for a more permanent solution.

Having spent four successive sea­sons on loan - spells with the Chilli Boys, Ajax Cape Town and Moroka Swallows - indications are that Malepe is looking for a permanent exit if Pirates opt against keeping him as part of their first team set-up for the new season.

The utility player faces a conundrum at the club. In his preferred central midfield position, Pirates currently have an abundance of talent. The likes of Fortune Makaringe, Ben Motshwari, Xola Mlambo and Linda Mntambo are all vying for a position, while Siphesihle Ndlovu has been given a lifeline after impressing towards the end of the season.

While he can also play in central defence, game-time seems highly unlikely after Pirates unveiled Thulani Hlatshwayo, who will join the likes of Happy Jele, Alfred Ndengane and Ntsikelelo Nyauza.

Read: Swallows Add Another Big Name Following Nyatama Capture

Malepe, who has one year left on his existing deal, is set for crunch talks with the Sea Robbers before the start of next season, in what will dictate his future as a professional player.

His former side Swallows, who re­cently won automatic promotion to the Premier Soccer League, could be an option for the former SA youth international if he does decide to part ways with Pirates, while a permanent move to Chippa has not been ruled out either.

Malepe is part of seven players who will be returning to Pirates after spending the past season on loan. Scroll through the gallery to see who they are: 

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