mashego a Pirate

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Katlego Mashego, the SuperSport United marksman, has finally signed a pre-season contract with Orlando Pirates.

Confirming the development yesterday from Zurich, Switzerland, Bucs boss Irvin Khoza said this was part of their bid to fortify the Buccaneer's misfiring strike force.

Khoza is expected back in the country this morning to hold an urgent meeting with United in a bid to secure the early release of the highly rated and hard-working forward.

"I can confirm today that Mashego has signed a pre-season contract with us and we are happy about this. We are doing all we can to have Katlego now rather than at the end of the season," Khoza said.

The Buccaneers have been targeting Mashego for some time and The Ghost should be in seventh heaven after the news.

The Ghost have been discontented after Pirates lost the battle to sign Abia Nale to traditional rivals Kaizer Chiefs.

The Bucs supremo also revealed that they will go into the transfer market to augment other departments.

There is a midfielder Pirates are close to signing, but Khoza would not be drawn into revealing his name to avoid unnecessary competition.

"What I can say is that we are talking with a local player," was all he would say when pressed.

As anticipated, Pirates will loan out players who are not playing regularly at the club to enable them to get enough game-time elsewhere. The players' names have not yet been made public.

Khoza would also not comment on Ian Palmer's resignation as the club's assistant coach.

"He wrote me a letter but I have not read it yet, so it will be ill-timed to comment on the matter now," he said.

The possibility of Mashego boarding the Pirates ship earlier than expected should inspire the current strikers to score goals to avoid warming the bench - starting tonight against Maritzburg United. They meet in an Absa Premiership fixture at Johannesburg Stadium at 7.30.

Teko Modise and Dikgang Mabalane could help Pirates to plunge Gordon Igesund's side further into crisis.