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Kekana was on United’s radar

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SuperSport’s Chief Executive Officer Stanley Matthews revealed this week that they did engage Kekana’s agent before he penned a new deal with Sundowns.

SUPERSPORT United were ready to snap up Mamelodi Sundowns skipper, Hlompo Kekana, had his club failed to renew his contract. But that was not to be as the Brazilians did everything in their power to extend their captain’s stay.

SuperSport’s Chief Executive Officer Stanley Matthews revealed this week that they did engage Kekana’s agent before he penned a new deal with Sundowns. The midfielder was in the last six months of his arrangement with the Chloorkop-based club before extending his contract by three more years.

“His agent (Thulani Thuswa) contacted us and told us that he would be coming free. But to be honest, it never went further than that because the numbers that he is on at Sundowns, which is well deserved, are way beyond our capacity. So, I wouldn’t have been able to bring him back anyway,” Matthews said.

“Secondly, in our team we have Tebza (Teboho Mokoena), we have Sipho Mbule, we have Jimmy Webber and Aubrey Modiba. We’ve got four strong types of central midfielders. If we are going to play 4-4-2 and then Hlompo will take one spot in the middle of the park and we will be left with one spot which means all four players will be competing for one spot. I think it was going to be counter-productive to where this team is going,” Matthews explained.

Kekana is still going strong at 34, and rose to prominence during his stint with SuperSport between 2008 and 2010. He lifted the Absa Premiership title with Matsatsantsa back then.

“For me, I would rather see a younger Teboho Mokoena being fast-tracked into a Dean Furman role which is where Kaitano (Tembo, the coach of SuperSport United) is heading. By doing that, you’ll be able to play Mbule, Webber or Modiba. It will be great to see these young players battling it out for the place in the starting 11. 

“As for Tebza (Mokoena) there are no guarantees for anyone in the team. At the end of the season, we will see if we replace Dean (who is going back to his family overseas). Remember, we also have the Ugandan, Moses Wayiswa. So, I’m not in a rush to go out and get players for the sake of it,” Matthews added.

The experienced Furman is set to leave the United at the end of the season. But Matthews says he is glad that Kekana will be staying put at Sundowns.

“Hlompo would have been a good seasoned campaigner and as a former player of ours. He would have been a solid bet but it wasn’t viable financially and I’m glad he got an extended deal at Sundowns. He deserves it and he has been a great ambassador for them. 

“He is a wonderful player and human being. 

“As much as we couldn’t get him, it would have been very silly of me not explore with him. Even to at least listen but unfortunately (and fortunately) it didn’t happen.”