Manuel denies Downs link

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

Jose Manuel, coach of African Club of the 20th Century, Al Ahly, denied that he will soon be joining Mamelodi Sundowns.

The Portuguese mentor and his players arrived in the country yesterday for an African Champions League fixture against Platinum Stars on Saturday.

And Manuel was immediately asked to clarify his position after speculation that Sundowns president Patrice Motsepe wanted to lure him to South Africa. He denied any knowledge of the supposed move, but did not shed any light on whether he had been approached or not.

"No, there is no truth in that rumour. I don't know anything about it," said Manuel.

The five-time champions dismantled Sundowns last year on their way to a final defeat to Sudan's Etoile du Sahel.

Manuel said he did not know much about Stars but his charges would be playing their normal football.

"Our goal is to qualify, and we want to first win the match here and keep the advantage, before going on to challenge for the championship."

Meanwhile, Sundowns meet Al Hilal of Sudan away this weekend.

After thrashing neighbours SuperSport United 3-1 in an Absa Premiership League match on Tuesday night, goalkeeper coach Alex Heredia said they had thoroughly prepared for this match that kicks off at 7pm local time on Saturday.

Ajax Cape Town, who cruised into the third round of the Confederations Cup, meet Mt Cameroon of Cameroon at Athlone Stadium in Cape Town at 8pm on Saturday.