Johannesburg - While Bidvest Wits are busy slowly building an empire, Mamelodi Sundowns have maintained silence on the transfer market. But the Brazilians said they were no longer prepared to break the bank for players.
City Press has reliably learnt that Sundowns have pulled out of a deal to sign Ajax Cape Town defender Rivaldo Coetzee because of the asking price.
A highly placed Sundowns official told City Press Ajax was allegedly asking in the region of R13 million for the Bafana defender.
However, Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane played it down, saying they were not desperate for another defender.
“The problem is that, when Sundowns calls, the asking price goes up all the time. So where are we going to get players from?” asked Mosimane.
“Yes, we want to buy players, but we will not just buy for the sake of buying. We don’t have money to burn".
However, he said missing out on Coetzee was not a train smash because he had four other central defenders to contend with.
The Brazilians have Ricardo Nascimento, Motjeka Madisha, Soumahoro Bangaly, Wayne Arendse and Thabo Nthethe competing for the two available spots.
Sundowns also wanted to sign Cape Town City winger Aubrey Ngoma, but a knee injury may derail the deal. Mosimane has made it clear that he is interested in the player.
City have already signed Lyle Lakay and Ayanda Patosi in Ngoma’s position.
Sundowns could also go for Kaizer Chiefs winger George Lebese if the price is reasonable.
While Sundowns are still stalling and mulling over their transfer targets, Wits are already a step ahead.
The defending league champions announced the major signings of former Bafana Bafana captain and Montenegrin defender Slavko Damjanovic as well as the young Kobamelo Kodisang from Platinum Stars a few days ago. They followed on the footsteps of Daylon Claasen, who joined from 1860 Munich in Germany last week.
Wits had already signed Bokang Tlhone from Free State Stars after he signed a precontract deal in January.
Finalise their squads
Gavin Hunt is clearly building a team to beat next season as he wants to conquer on all fronts and, if the early signs are anything to go by, they will be favourites to retain their title.
Kaizer Chiefs have also been active on the market after bringing in former Cape Town City winger Bongolethu Jayiya, Philani Zulu from Maritzburg United and Teenage Hadebe from Zimbabwe. After a dismal performance last season, Amakhosi have released few players to make way for the newcomers.
Orlando Pirates were not to be left behind after announcing the arrival of Thamsanqa Sangweni from Chippa United.
Baroka were quick to catch Lewis Macha after he was released by Chiefs. They have also reunited with their former midfielder Gift Motupa, who is on loan from Pirates.
The next few weeks will be interesting as clubs finalise their squads before the start of the season.