Soccer Scene: Not a done deal until a player puts his signature on the dotted line

Johannesburg – Let’s focus on the most talked-about player movements during this PSL January transfer window that has seen speculations and guesswork taking centre stage and being on overdrive.

Certainly, we can talk as much as we want, the bottom line is that until a player signs on the dotted line with their new club, nothing is conclusive.

So, will it be Orlando Pirates or Pitso Mosimane’s Al Ahly in Egypt who will eventually persuade Mamelodi Sundowns’ top attacking midfielder Gaston Sirino to join their ranks?

That question will be answered in the next few days, I hope because it is clear the gifted talisman wants out of Downs.

The crossing of swords between Bucs and the Egyptian giants for Sirino’s services, which has been endlessly going on, should by now have ended but Mosimane’s much-decorated Al Ahly seems to have relented on pursuing Sirino following the hyped
possible move that failed to materialise before the start of the current season.

As things stand, Sirino is hell-bent on dumping the Kabo Yellow brigade and his alternative choice is now The Ghosts, simply because he is now out of favour at Downs since game time has been hard to come by with the Tshwane-based side this season.

In the past couple of weeks, reports doing the rounds have said that Sundowns have tabled an offer to Matsa-tsantsa for the services of Bafana Bafana workaholic midfielder Tebogo Mokoena, and the latest is that the player has agreed on terms put on the table by the deep-pocketed Masandawa and the deal could be finalised sooner than later.

And where is SuperSport United midfield maestro Sipho Mbule headed to? The favourites to have the seasoned star centre-forward in their books are Kaizer Chiefs, now that Mokoena has agreed to join Sundowns.

It will also depend on whether the moneyed Sundowns do not come with a better offer for Mbule but the player himself is keen going to be a Khosi-4-Life, rather than a Brazilian.

The move also hinges on what the influential Mike Makaab, Mbule’s agent, deems is a perfect deal for his client.

Last, there is the much-talked-about move of AmaZulu midfielder and playmaker Siyethemba Sithebe, who is said to be a done deal already as Sithebe has signed a pre-contract with Chiefs. The move will only be sealed at the end of this season in June. It is a big catch for Baxter and Amakhosi. Sithebe is a gem. It’s a case of Downs’ gaining by securing Mokoena and Chiefs also gaining by having Sithebe. Period!

Now let’s shift gear a bit to international football.

The Cameroon 2021 Africa Cup of Nations has brought into sharp focus the political divide of that West African country – a country the late South African songstress and anti-apartheid icon Miriam Makeba made famous in a song – as armed
Anglophone separatists threaten to disrupt the tournament.

The government of President Paul Biya has deployed heavily armed soldiers almost everywhere.

For the past four years, the regions of the south-west and north-west, inhabited mainly by the Anglophone minority,  have experienced a bloody conflict between armed separatists demanding independence.

Football in Africa is a unifier and does not need this violence threatening the tournament as the Last 16 round starts today.

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