Pitso Mosimane has played down reports that Mamelodi Sundowns are ready to meet the asking price of R10-million for Bidvest Wits attacker Sibusiso Vilakazi, and says no local player is worth that much.
Vilakazi has been linked to Sundowns for a number of weeks now with Orlando Pirates also reported to have entered the race for his signature.
Wits have already turned down offers from Kaizer Chiefs for the services of ‘Vila’, who they believe is worth two Amakhosi players in return.
Even though he refused to draw reference to the price tag put on top of Vilakazi’s head, Mosimane says his club will not fork out R10-million for any local player.
“We can’t afford to pay so much money. In my own opinion I think there is no player worth more than R10-million in South Africa,” Mosimane said on Wednesday after their victory over Enyimba.
“In my opinion even my own players [are not worth that much]. I think it’s not worth it, that money, we are not going to pay it.”
Sundowns do have the option of giving Wits players to make up that R10-million, with Cuthbert Malajila and Anthony Laffor being touted as possible makeweights.
KickOff.com can reveal why Kaizer Chiefs’ pursuit of Sibusiso Vilakazi from Bidvest Wits has hit a wall, which Amakhosi players Wits want in a swap deal, and why Mamelodi Sundowns are still favourites to land him.
This website has it on good authority from well-placed sources close to both sides of negotiations that Chiefs cannot agree to Wits’ financial demands nor a swap deal involving George Lebese and Bernard Parker.
If Chiefs want ‘Vila’ then Lebese and Parker would have to go in the opposite direction, or any one of them plus cash.
Wits are prioritising a player exchange deal with any interested clubs because they understand how difficult ‘buying’ a replacement will be for them with the exorbitant prices being charged in the ‘artificial market’.
So whichever club wants a deal for Vilakazi, they will have to bring a player on board plus cash for The Clever Boys to part ways with their star player.
Having league and cup ambitions of their own, Wits are no longer just a club that will be bullied into selling players to the ‘Big Three’ which is why they feel they also need to retain a balance in their squad by getting in quality if Vilakazi is to leave.
Wits are already faced with the possibility of losing left-footed attacking midfielder Jabulani Shongwe, with Orlando Pirates showing interest.
Mamelodi Sundowns remain in the picture for Vilakazi as they have two players that Wits want in an exchange deal – Cuthbert Malajila and Anthony Laffor.
However, Laffor’s issues with Sundowns are threatening to spoil that deal with the Liberian apparently unhappy and pushing for a way out so that he can move to Chiefs.
Amakhosi are quietly keeping track of Laffor’s situation as they arguably still need an established forward to lead their attack – despite the
– especially now that Camaldine Abraw has been ruled out for most of next season with an Achilles injury.
The Brazilians will still be keen on a deal involving money plus a player to bring Vilakazi to Chloorkop.
Pirates also remain in the picture for Vilakazi and will be counting on the influence of club boss Irvin Khoza to make a deal happen. Pirates have players that Wits would be interested in but are not desperate to have.
Whatever the case, should Wits let ‘Vila’ go, he would eventually have to move to one of the ‘Big Three’ and right now Sundowns have the edge.