The season is over and that can only mean one thing, the transfer season (also known as the silly season) is officially in full swing. We have selected five transfer stories that we feel will garner the most column inches over the next month and a half.
It’s hard to reconcile the Katlego Mphela of the last 3 seasons with the prolific sharp shooter we saw in the 2009/10 season. Arguably the most gifted natural finisher this country has produced since Benni McCarthy, Mphela’s fall from grace since then has been nothing short of spectacular. After falling down the pecking order at Mamelodi Sundowns, the striker was off-loaded to Kaizer Chiefs in 2014 with the hope that a change in environment could resurrect his fortunes, but after yet another injury-ravaged season in which his lifestyle became more of a talking point than his performances on the pitch, Chiefs decided to terminate his contract. While there may still be some suitors for the 30 year-old former Bafana Bafana international out there, it is nowhere near the number of clubs who coveted his signature 5 years ago. Mphele himself is aware that he is at career crossroads and that he needs to be very careful about where decides to play his football next season. His huge wage requirements mean that there are very few teams that can afford to take him on. Bidvest Wits and the player’s former team Supersport United have linked with him along with moves to Saudi Arabia and China. Orlando Pirates who were also closely linked to the striker last year could also be in with a shout.
4) MANDLA MASANGO
When Mandla Masango finally lived up to his promise and produced his best season since joining the professional ranks, many felt that Chiefs’ decision to stick with him through his development years had been justified and that club would then look to profit off the midfielder’s new found confidence and stature. However, following the collapse of the protracted contracted negotiations the club announced that the player would be allowed to leave once his contract expired later this month. Whether it was a player trying to hold the club to ransom after it stood by him, or a club refusing to recognize the significant role the midfielder played in the club’s league success, it all depends on which side you hear it from. It did not help matters when the player was dropped by his long-term agent Walter Mokoeana over the decision. The events of the last few weeks have created an interesting backstory to where Masnago will be playing his football next season. Prior to Mokoena dropping Masango, he had been looking for possibilities in Europe for his client, and taking into account that the player is now a Bafana Bafana regular, that option cannot be completely ruled out. Mpumalanga Black Aces, Masango’s hometown team, are the local front-runners for his signature and should the overseas move not materialize they do look like his most likely destination.
The Mozambican international could arguably walk into most PSL sides on any given day, so it remains a mystery to most outside of Chloorkop why he hasn’t enjoyed a more sustained run in the Mamelodi Sundowns side over the last two seasons. Signed in a big-money deal from Supersport United four years ago, Pelembe was set to play a leading role in firing Sundowns to league titles and continental glory. While Sundowns did pick up a league title in 2013/14 season, with a minimal contribution from Pelembe, the winger has struggled to establish himself at the club. To be hoest, his departure from Chloorkop has been a long time coming, Orlando Pirates were linked with him last season before being scared off by the players wage demands. However, in this off-season you get the impression that both Sundowns and the player himself are keen to do as much as possible for him to move on. Pirates, Bidvest Wits and Supersport United are set to battle it out to land the mercurial winger.
Another Kaizer Chiefs player who after a fantastic season for the club was rewarded with a nudge towards the exit sign. Mashamaite was simply colossal for Chiefs this season culminating with him being crowned PSL Player of the Year. However, the defender’s contract negotiations also fell apart after both parties could not agree on the player’s wage demands. Mamelodi Sundowns, who have been huge admirers of the player for some time and are in need of an experienced central defender following the departure of Alje Schut at the end of last season. It looks like it’s only a matter of time before Mashamaite is unveiled at Chloorkop as their latest signing.
The Kaizer Chiefs – Itumeleng Khune drama should be submitted in next SATA awards under the Sopie of the Year, following the gripping drama it provided over the last few months. The, “will he sign or won’t he sign?”, plot provided enough material for numerous column inches in the press. The player’s affection for social media added an extra dimension to the story with him teasing his followers with (at times) contradictory hints regarding his future. Finally the club announced that they would not look to keep the player beyond his current deal which expires this month, and made sure to lay the blame at the feet of player and his representatives during a media briefing and subsequent press leaks. Khune remains South Africa’s number one goalkeeper and as a result has a number of options open to him right. The fact that he is a free agent and there will be no transfer fee for him means that he can command a kings ransom for his services. Khune as well as his representatives have stated that his first option is to go abroad, should that fall through, Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns (those two being the most likely to afford his salary) will battle it out for the Bafana Bafana captain.