Defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns have made headway in strengthening their team ahead of the 2021/22 season.
The Brazilians have already brought on board the likes of Divine Lunga from Golden Arrows and SuperSport United’s Grant Kekana, while they are expected to sign and loan out Sifiso Ngobeni and Katlego Mohamme from Bloemfontein Celtic and University of Pretoria respectively.
But in search of quality acquisitions, the 2016 African champions have cast their eye to North Africa and their traditional hunting ground, South America, where they found gems such as Gaston Sirino in recent years.
Sirino, meanwhile, has reiterated his desire to join Al Ahly of Egypt, while Mauricio Affonso is expected to make way at some point having failed to live up to expectations due to injuries.
FARPost runs the rule over six (6) foreign players that Sundowns is keeping an eye on, who may possibly be on their way to Chloorkop in the near future.
Ramiro Vaca Ponce
According to iDiski Times, Sundowns are interested in Bolivian international midfielder, Ramiro Vaca Ponce, who’s 21 and has already featured for the senior national team, perhaps an indication of his quality.
He plays for a club called The Strongest in his home country and featured for Bolivia in the Copa America 2021.
According to Maghrib Foot – a Moroccan publication, Sundowns are looking to sign Moroccan centre-back Abdelmounaim Boutouil (22).
He plays for Chabab Mohammedia, on loan from Belgian side Union SG. He’s contracted to Union SG until June 2023.
According to the report, Sundowns are willing to part with R12.6-million for his services. Boutouil can also play at left back and was included in the Team of the Tournament as Morocco won the African Nations Championship (Chan) earlier this year.
The Slovakian is the most likely from this list to arrive at Chloorkop, with the Brazilians having reportedly agreed a deal with his club, Sepsi OSK of Romania.
It’s believed that Sundowns have agreed to pay Sepsi OSK R12-million for the forward.
The 26-year-old is a Slovakia international with 10 appearances.
Sundowns have also been linked with Algeria’s attacking midfielder Amir Sayoud and it has even been suggested that he could come in as Sirino’s replacement.
The 30-year-old currently plays for Algerian club CR Belouizdad and scored eight goals in 11 CAF Champions League games this year, but Belouizdad were knocked out by Esperance in the quarterfinals.
Houssam Eddine Ghacha
The 25-year-old midfielder is believed to be out of contract at Tunisian side, ES Setif and if true, and Sundowns make their move, it could be a bargain for a player who scored nine goals in 21 games in the 2020/21 League campaign in the North African country.
Hussein El Shahat
The Al Ahly star was on record, saying Sundowns had made him an offer for next season. This was in May, when he said: “I want to stay at Ahly. Zamalek, of course, is a big club and has all the respect. I have an offer from Sundowns, as well as offers from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, but I will not reveal the names [of those clubs].”
Whether Sundowns have followed up on their interest is unknown at this stage.
*Please note, the PSL only allows five foreigners per club, meaning Sundowns’ interest may not result in a purchase of the above-mentioned players.
By Tiyani wa ka Mabasa