Transfer window opens period of opportunities

2011-01-02 10:13

Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana No 1 goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune could be lost to the Absa Premiership during this player transfer window period.

City Press has reliably learned that struggling English Premiership League club Fulham have shown interest in the 23-year-old. If he is successful, Khune will join another Bafana star and midfielder, Kagisho Dikgacoi, at the Craven Cottage club.

Khune’s business manager, Jazzman Mahlakgane, has just returned from Europe where he held discussions with the club’s representatives.

Fulham’s manager, Mark Hughes, is known for his interest in South African players as he was the one who brought striker Benni McCarthy and defender Aaron Mokoena to Blackburn Rovers while he was in charge at the club.

Another Chiefs player, Siphiwe Tshabalala, is also linked to an overseas move to either England or Turkey, while Orlando Pirates’ attacking midfielder, Teko Modise, who seems to have rediscovered his form, could also be on the move to an unknown Saudi Arabian club.

Ironically, another Bafana goalie, Rowen Fernandez, who was dropped from the 2010 World Cup squad, could make a sensational return to domestic football in the colours of SuperSport United.

The former Chiefs No?1 is seen as the man to arrest United’s declining standards this season.

According to a United insider, the Arminia Bielefeld goalkeeper, who has made it clear that he wants to leave the second-division German Bundesliga club, is on the verge of signing for the Tshwane side after struggling to command a regular place at the club.

“It’s almost a done deal as only finer details have to be ironed out.

We really need a top-class goalkeeper and Rowen is the one,” said the source.

Interestingly, United have another former Chiefs goalkeeper, Emile Baron, on their books. Earlier in the season the club brought back another ex-Chiefs defender, Bradley Carnell, also from Germany.

United are desperately searching for a goalkeeper to replace Wayne Brown, who has been woeful between the poles since arriving from England.

The long-term injury to Baron and the departure of Denis Onyango to Mpumalanga Black Aces weakened United’s last line of defence, with Brown failing to fill the two keepers’ shoes after conceding 15 goals in 11 matches. Brown missed only one match for United.

Coach Gavin Hunt’s side has a mountain to climb as their strikers haven’t been on the ball, scoring a paltry 11 goals in 12 outings.

United also urgently need to find a capable replacement for defender Bongani Khumalo, who officially became a Tottenham Hotspur player as of this week after having had a successful trial with the club in September.

At the bottom of the log table, Moroka Swallows are also on the lookout for quality players to strengthen the squad.

Already coach Gordon Igesund has inquired about the services of Tshepo Ramolesa, Benedict Vilakazi and Koketso Mmotong, all from Mamelodi Sundowns. But he is likely to only get Ramolesa and Mmotong.

Although Swallows are showing signs of improvement under the four-time Premiership-winning Igesund, losing a single match in three outings, the Dube Beautiful Birds are the only side still to register a victory this season.

After parting ways with Neil Tovey last week, their second coach this season, Aces have hired Paul Dolezar who might also want to strengthen his squad.

Aces are second from the bottom with only one win – over Pirates – to show in 12 matches.

Although the Witbank club made wholesale changes at the beginning of the season, all these new players haven’t brought to the club any stability, only the departure of Greek mentor Aki Ayiomamidis and Tovey.

Bidvest Wits have registered defender Mzwanele Maheshe from Umtata Bush Bucks, goalkeeper Ryan Pieterse from their feeder team Bidvest Boys and also welcome back Patrick Phungwayo, who was loaned to Panionios in the Greek Super League.

The other top sides – Sundowns, Pirates and Chiefs – are not expected to go wild in the market as they have enough ammunition.

In fact, Chiefs coach Vladimir Vermezovic hinted that he might offload some of this arsenal during this period.

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