During his time playing for Orlando Pirates, Thabo Matlaba had been linked with some of the top clubs in the Absa Premiership for his consistency at the time, as well as his excellent performances for both the Soweto giants and Bafana Bafana.
Some of Mzansi’s top clubs that the Tembisa-born player had been linked with were Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United.
Following the 31-year-old player’s departure from Pirates, after the Buccaneers revealed that they parted ways with the player after he decided against taking a pay cut to remain with the club, and Leopards since signed the star this week.
However, Leopards have not been the only club interested in the services of the experienced left-back, as confirmed by sources close to the player’s camp.
While it is believed that Festival had offers from no less than four clubs, the player opted for Leopards after weighing up his chances for regular game-time as he aims to revive his career in the new season.
“It was never going be easy to get a club for a player of Thabo’s calibre. He was in demand because of his talent and experience in the game. Like his agent had been quoted as saying, the boy has been on a good package at Pirates. It’s not like any club is being undermined, but there was no way that any of them would have matched what he was on financially,” said the source.
Matlaba made only seven league appearances for Bucs during their Absa Premiership campaign of the 2018/19 season.
“There have been four clubs interested in the player. Maritzburg United is one of the clubs that showed serious interest. Maritzburg contacted both the player and his representative directly as they tried to conclude the deal,” the source added.