Celtic close in on Lentjies
BLOEMFONTEIN Celtic are hoping to tie up a deal to sign Maritzburg United midfielder Kurt Lentjies today.
Coach Clinton Larsen has overseen a major overhaul of his squad in the off-season that has so far seen 13 players leave, with Mulomowandau Mathoho set to follow in the coming days.
But one positive for Celtic fans is the possible arrival of former junior international Lentjies. Both Celtic and United have told Sowetan that a deal is imminent and that they hope to conclude negotiations today.
"We are just waiting for Maritzburg to get back to us but we are very positive about signing Lentjies. He would be a good addition to our squad," said Celtic CEO Khumbulani Konco.
Maritzburg chairman Farook Kadodia added: "That deal is quite strong and I believe it will be wrapped up soon."
Meanwhile, Konco says that Celtic's camp in Johannesburg from July 9 to 20 will be the springboard for an improved showing this season.
"Being in camp will be crucial for the players. Having made so many changes to the squad, it is important that the new players are integrated into the team quickly. When you go away it gives you the opportunity to all be together 24 hours a day and helps to build an understanding. Plus, we will be playing against some top friendly opponents."
So far Celtic have lost defenders Bevan Fransch, Luyanda Hlongwa, Prince Hlela and Kgotso Moleko; midfielders Clifford Mulenga, Thokozani Mshengu, Phenyo Mongala, Cecil Oerson, Siyabonga Mbatha, Moses Spandeel and Papi Zothwane; and strikers Ezenwa Otorogu and Ransford Osei.
Their only signings so far have been John Arwuah (from SuperSport United), Siyabonga Nontshinga (Jomo Cosmos) and Auguston Leonard (Moroka Swallows).