PSL scramble for January reinforcements gathers pace

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JOHANNESBURG, January 4 – South Africa’s top Premier Soccer League clubs will look to shake off the festive season rust with swift action in the transfer window as the second half of the season looms.

The Christmas break was as frantic as ever with a number of clubs changing personnel in the technical area but with celebrations of the New Year now complete, the focus has turned to on-field additions and exits before the window slams shut at the end of January.

Relegation-threatened Chippa are among a number of clubs set for a clear out with high-profile, yet underplayed duo Thabo Nthethe and James Okwuosa set to depart this month.

Though not permanent, Cape Town City have already confirmed midfielder Mpho Matsi will spend the rest of the season with his former mentor Muhsin Ertugral at Maritzburg United after he struggled to break into the starting lineup.

Another “done deal” is that of Charlton Mashumba stepping up from the NFD as he bids to bring goals to Polokwane City.

One club to watch will be Orlando Pirates who have finally seen Lyle Foster seal his dream move to French outfit Monaco. It is unclear who Milutin Sredojevic will bring in to bolster his attack with support for Augustine Mulenga now imperative as the Buccaneers seek a long-awaited PSL title.

Across Soweto, Kaizer Chiefs fans may have little to shout about with Kaizer Chiefs chairman Kaizer Motaung confident coach Ernst Middendorp has more than enough firepower to advance Amakhosi up the table.

Two teams unlikely to rest on their laurels are Bidvest Wits and the team that ended their reign as league champions, Mamelodi Sundowns.

The Clever Boys are believed to have made a handsome offer to Free State Stars in order to allow winger Sinethemba Jantjie an earlier than expected arrival at the club. Jantjie has a pre-contract in place with the title challengers but there is now an enticing cash offer now on the table to lure the Free State club into parting ways during the current window.

Wits will have to wait until the end of the season to welcome Brandon Petersen and Prince Nxumalo from Ajax Cape Town after the pair also penned pre-contract deals.

Sundowns may be well-stocked but the likes of George Lebese, Aubrey Ngoma and Thokozani Sekotlong could well be offloaded with speculative reports indicating that Thabo Mnyamane (SuperSport United), George Maluleka (Kaizer Chiefs) and Edmilson Dove (Cape Town City) are all on Pitso Mosimane’s mid-season shopping list.

The league resumes on Friday but fans will be forgiven for thinking that more action could be done in the boardrooms across the 16 Premiership clubs as the month clicks into fifth gear. (ANA)