Mathoho move still a mystery
BLOEMFONTEIN Celtic have tightened their grip on their prized asset, Molomowanadou Mathoho, fending off overtures from all suitors.
As the plot thickens in the Mathoho transfer saga, which involves PSL powerhouses Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns, Celtic are determined to get the best possible deal for the tall defender.
A few days ago, Chiefs were reported to have beaten Sundowns to the race for the 22-year-old star's signature and the two parties were expected to issue a joint statement on the matter on Monday.
Mathoho was yesterday spotted training with Chiefs.
But Celtic are adamant no deal has been agreed, due to what club chief executive Khumbulani Konco yesterday attributed to two "stumbling blocks".
"First, we cannot let Mathoho go without first finding a replacement for him and second, Chiefs are not the only team interested in our player," said Konco.
"Yes, we've given the player permission to talk to teams who are interested in him and who would like to sign him."
Asked what Mathoho was doing at the Chiefs' training session, Konco said: "As far as we know, he's not training with Chiefs. There is no such thing.
"We are not under pressure to do anything. We've got two years to negotiate a deal with any club. For us it is not about the money."
However, Mathoho's agent, Tim Sukazi, confirmed that his player was training with Chiefs.
"He is familiarising himself with the environment in anticipation of the successful conclusion of a deal between the two clubs.
"Like I said it before, Mathoho has made it clear to his team that he wants to go to Chiefs.
"And if ever he moves within the local market, he'll only be going to Chiefs and not anywhere else. Everything is in the capable hands of the Celtic management."
Chiefs general manager Bobby Motaung said he would not make any statement on team issues as he was attending to a personal matter.
To strengthen their bid, Sundowns are understood to be offering two players, youngsters Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Buhle Mkhwanazi, on top of cash in exchange for Mathoho's signature.
But the player, the only one who can free the logjam, is reportedly not keen on a move to Chloorkop.
- Kgotso Moleko has been confirmed as a Chiefs player after signing a three-year deal. - Additional reporting by Nick Said