Chiefs fortify their squad
KAIZER Chiefs' spending spree on new players got under way this week with the hiring of Siboniso Gaxa and will soon be followed by several other high-profile signings.
The player build-up for next season has the backing of new coach Stuart Baxter.
Next on the Chiefs' shopping list are Morgan Gould, Eric Mathoho, Edward Manqele and Sibusiso Vilakazi.
The club's football manager, Bobby Motaung, yesterday confirmed that Chiefs, who will finish a season without a trophy for the first time in 10 years, were negotiating with Supersport United for Gould, Bloemfontein Celtic for Mathoho and Free State Stars for striker Manqele.
He said Chiefs were also hoping to lure midfielder Vilakazi to Naturena from Wits by August.
The purchasing of a new centre-back pairing of Gould and Mathoho is almost settled.
This aggressive new approach in the marketplace follows years of being gazumped by Mamelodi Sundowns and after increasing pressure for new faces and big-name signings from fans.
Combined with Chiefs' inability to win the league title since their last success seven years ago, the club is nowthrowing caution aside and getting ready to churn up the transfer market in the coming weeks.
Gaxa's deal was settled on Tuesday, a week after the club unveiled Stuart Baxter as its new coach.
Chiefs' new get-fast approach contrasts with a conservative attitude in recent years, when they lost out on many major deals.
Gould and Mathoho, two Bafana central defenders, are likely to sign in time for the Vodacom Challenge and the Carling Black Label Cup in July. The rest could join Amakhosi in August.
"We have made offers to the clubs for these players," said Motaung.
"I believe we have made very good proposals."
Baxter has gone back to England and will return on June 22, but Motaung said the coach was happy with the proposed signings.
"He went back with a couple of videos to assess [the players]. It's better for him to get to know them now instead of inquiring before the new season," said Motaung.
Chiefs will let go of at least 10 players. Goalkeeper Kabelo Metsimetsi, Steven Ncanana, Dominic Mateba and Tlou Molekwane are among those believed to be part of the clear-out.
"We don't want to have players who will not be competing for places in the new season," Motaung said.
Chiefs goalkeeper Arthur Bartman will tell the club he wants to play for another season, but he said it is not a foregone conclusion that he will accept a new deal with Amakhosi if it is offered.
Bartman turned 40 in March, joining a durable group of players to have featured in the PSL into their fifth decade.
His current deal comes to an end in June. Bartman will sit down with the club in the next few weeks to discuss his future.