It remains to be seen whether Royal AM remain in the market to snap up the services of former Orlando Pirates captain Happy Jele.
Jele signed a one-year contract extension with Pirates at the end of the previous season, but he parted ways with the club after that deal came to an end. The Pirates leader has enjoyed a remarkable career with the Buccaneers, which has spanned 16 years and included over 400 appearances since 2006.
A statement has revealed that Jele was asked to seriously consider a non-playing role after extensive meetings, but the former captain subsequently insisted that he wanted to continue playing “beyond the 2021/2022 season”.
However, Pirates ultimately decided that they couldn’t agree to a continued role in the playing squad, and have now bid farewell to Jele.
According to a recent report by KickOff.com, Royal AM were possibly interested in securing his services, and were planning to meet with him soon to finalise the deal soon.
However, Royal AM held a press conference earlier this month to make a number of announcements, including unveiling Philani Cele, Shane Roberts and Lesvin Stoffels as new signings. But there was no word on Jele.
According to Soccer Laduma, Royal AM may have lost interest in signing the veteran defender as they deemed him to be too expensive.
“The club was interested in him, but that has since changed because they feel they cannot afford him,” said a source in the latest edition (1286) of Soccer Laduma.
Notably, though, the Daily Sun reports that Jele could still end up at Royal AM before the closing of the domestic transfer window in September.
It is reported that the No 4 jersey has event been put aside for when Jele joins Royal AM.
In an interview with SABC Sport last month, Jele had said he hopes to find a new club soon, but for now he is just enjoying spending time with family.
“For now I can’t say anything because there’s nothing, but anything that comes that’s good for me, I will appreciate and take it and go and play,” Jele told SABC Sport.
“Unless you know, because you’re in that space [media]. As for me, I don’t know anything because I’ve never seen anyone or had someone call me, saying, ‘We want to offer you this,’ or ‘Can we have your signature?’
“[There is] nothing, I’ve been taking my kids to school and coming back, and I’m enjoying my family time for now. But I’m hoping that one day everything is going to go well for me.”
Popular social media publication, Unplayable, has also recently suggested Royal AM are indeed interested in Jele, who could have a few interesting options to consider.