New year heralds new opportunities for PSL clubs
THE new year signals the reopening of the transfer window and there is likely to be some big business done in January.
A number of clubs, including Premier Soccer League pacesetters Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, have said they are looking to bring in players during this period to bolster their squads ahead of what will be a busy second half of the season.
Pirates will be involved in 14 rounds of league action, potentially five rounds of the Nedbank Cup and six matches in the Confederation of African Football Champions League. That would mean 25 games in just 15 weeks, with two Fifa match days thrown in to boot.
Coach Roger de Sa has already said he is looking to bring in "two or three" players to add numbers, with a central defender and a striker thought to be top of his list.
Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter has also said he will turn to the transfer market, worried about the effect the 2013 African Nations Cup will have on his squad.
Chiefs have given up seven players to the national cause for the event and should Bafana Bafana go all the way to the final, it will keep Baxter’s side busy right up to February 10.
Amakhosi’s first match on the resumption of the league is at Mamelodi Sundowns on February 12, with those seven Bafana players having had next to no rest since the end of the first half of the season.
They will no doubt be physically and mentally tired, which could have a big effect on Chiefs’ title challenge, unless Baxter brings in fresh faces.
Ajax Cape Town are another club who are expecting a busy month as they seek to bring in experience to help them move away from the relegation zone. CEO George Comitis and coach Jan Pruijn have said that signing up a striker is top priority for them, but adding experience to the midfield is also high on their list.
Struggling Durban sides AmaZulu and Golden Arrows are also searching for at least one striker, as are Bloemfontein Celtic.
The first piece of business this month will be Irwin Isaacs’s move from BidVest Wits to Chippa United, which is expected to be completed this week. Isaacs moved to Gauteng from Santos at the end of last season but has struggled to settle in Johannesburg and will look to kick-start his career again in Cape Town.
Sundowns will meet representatives of influential captain Teko Modise next week to discuss extending his contract. This was confirmed by his agent, Jazzman Mahlakgane, who said preliminary negotiations had already started.
Modise, who was dropped from the squad to represent South Africa during the African Nations Cup finals, will see his contract expire in June.
He joined Sundowns from Orlando Pirates soon after the 2010 Soccer World Cup finals, where he was part of the Bafana squad.
New Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane is a big fan of Modise and is expected to endorse plans by the club to offer him a new deal.
"I had a chat with (Sundowns legal adviser) Yogesh Singh to talk about Tsholofelo (Modise). There will be no problems at all," Mahlakgane said.
"I think we will meet on either January 7 or 8 with Yogesh, depending on his schedule. We are quite confident Tsholofelo will still be with Sundowns next season."