lerato goes back home

MAMELODI Sundowns may have helped subsidise bitter Pretoria rivals SuperSport United's purchase of Petrus Mahlatsi, at best, or, at worst, helped to buy the former Bloemfontein Celtic striker outright.

MAMELODI Sundowns may have helped subsidise bitter Pretoria rivals SuperSport United's purchase of Petrus Mahlatsi, at best, or, at worst, helped to buy the former Bloemfontein Celtic striker outright.

This after United received an undisclosed amount of money from the Brazilians for the services of Lerato Chabangu, who has returned to Chloorkop.

Matsatsantsa got Chabangu free when he joined them during the January transfer window last season.

His contract at Downs was due to expire at the end of June, but Sundowns let the forward go in January after realising that he had penned a pre-season contract with Gavin Hunt's side.

The controversial forward's contract at United was due to expire in 2011.

But United appeared to have been trickier than their city rivals because they benefited financially from Chabangu and this could have helped them to buy the likes of Mahlatsi.

Downs president Patrice Motsepe's open cheque book policy also landed United's prized forward Elias Pelembe.

But United's spokesperson David "Mazolman" Skosana said Chabanga and Pelembe were still their players because they had not agreed on Downs' offer.

"We have not reached a deal with Sundowns and therefore Lerato and Elias are still our players and nothing else," Skosana emphasised yesterday.

"I'm now questioning some newspapers who claimed that we received millions from Sundowns for the two players. I have been reading stories with amusement mentioning millions of rands regarding Chabangu and Pelembe and really I don't know where they got the misleading information.

"And I want to stress that we have our own resources to sign players. Petrus is not the last player we intend to sign because we will not rest until we get all the players we want."

Downs also offloaded defender Phelelani Mpangase to United, but it is still unclear if the Matsatsantsa got him free as part of the Chabangu deal.

Mahlatsi yesterday agreed a three-season deal with the Absa Premiership kings.

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