Orlando Pirates sign Bafana Bafana skipper Hlatshwayo – reports

Orlando Pirates have reportedly agreed terms with Bafana Bafana captain Thulani Hlatshwayo currently of Bidvest Wits.

According to reports published on 10 June 2020, Hlatshwayo has told Mamelodi Sundowns that he will be joining Orlando Pirates.

Orlando Pirates sign Hlatshwayo – reports

Speculation about the future of the defender has been rife since it emerged that owners of Wits, Bidvest were putting the club up for sale.

Sundowns are understood to have swooped with a R17 million group offer for the services Hlatshayo, Deon Hotto and Haashim Domingo.

Hlatshwayo has reportedly rejected that offer in favour of a move to Orlando Pirates whom he supported as a boy.

“Pirates have got him. He has told Sundowns he will join Pirates‚” a source close to Hlatshwayo told TimesLIVE reporter Nkareng Matshe.

Hlatshwayo’s agent Mike Ntombela has confirmed interest from both Orlando Pirates and Sundowns but said that no deal could be confirmed until Wits agreed to the sale.

At 30-years-old the national captain is in his prime as a central defender and Ntombela said he could play wherever he wants to. At Pirates he could form a formidable partnership with club skipper Happy Jele.

“The fact of the matter is that he belongs to Wits. He renewed his contract and has two years to run still‚” Ntombela said.

“For anything to happen‚ Wits must give the go-ahead.

“He decides for himself‚ I can only advise here and there‚ but ultimately‚ he decides. He can play at any team‚ including Sundowns and Pirates.”

a86e8806 orlando pirates sign hlatshwayo - Orlando Pirates sign Bafana Bafana skipper Hlatshwayo – reports
Orlando Pirates sign Hlatshwayo: Thulani Hlatshwayo of Bidvest Wits during the Premiership match between AmaZulu FC and Bidvest Wits at King Zwelithini Stadium Photo: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images

Pirates and Sundowns appear to be the first to swoop on the injured animal that is Wits with the Buccaneers and Brazilians also competing for the signature of midfielder Hotto.

“The battle now remains between the two teams, Pirates and Sundowns,” a source close to Hotto revealed to Kickoff this week.

“It’s a huge battle. I think in the end the decision is no longer going to be about money but the boy’s heart, where he wants to play next season.”

The end of Wits

It appears that the sale of the club could spell the end of the historic Wits football club, with a Limpopo businessman set to move the outfit out of Braampark.

Read – Fifa World Cup 2010 ten years on: Mixed fortunes for South Africa

As two of the biggest clubs in South Africa, Pirates and Sundowns often go head to head in the race to sign talent.

The Premier Soccer League has been suspended since March and will, alongside Safa submit protocols and plans for a return to play to the minister of sport in the coming days. Players have been left in limbo regarding expiring contracts, sparking something of a silly season but the sale of Wits has intensified the situation.

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