Orlando Pirates’ search of a quality goalkeeper to compete with Richard Ofori seem to have hit a snag after one of their targets extended his contract at his current club.
AmaZulu shot-stopper Veli Mothwa, who has been on the radar of Pirates has had his contract extended by club president Sandile Zungu.
Mothwa’s contract was set to expire towards the end of last season, with speculation linking him with a move to the Buccaneers.
The Bafana Bafana goalkeeper’s handlers confirmed that Usuthu triggered a two-year option on his contract and the Siya crew has gathered that Mothwa has ultimately committed to a long-term deal at the Durban-based side.
The Soweto giants were also linked with the signing of Bafana number one goalkeeper Ronwen Williams, who has since joined rivals Mamelodi Sundowns after some delay before the deal was finalised, which led to suggestions that the Buccaneers were in the picture.
With two of arguably Bafana’s best goalkeepers, not available, what will be Pirates’ options?
The Houghton-based outfit could still reignite their interest in Mothwa, although they will have to buy him out of his contract, as explained in the latest issue of the newspaper.
Ofori had two injury set-backs, as he missed out on Ghana’s appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations held in Cameroon in January this year and did not play much of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers either.
The 28-year old’s number one spot in the national team was occupied by England-based shot-stopper Joseph Wollacott, who plies his trade for English League One side Charlton Athletic.
However, Ofori was called-up to the Black Stars squad ahead of their two friedlies against Brazil and Nicaragua, in preparation for the world football showpiece in Qatar in November, in two months’ time.
The former Maritzburg United goal minder has impressed for Pirates so far, with four cleansheets from seven league matches.
Should Ofori be called-up to the Black Stars’ World Cup squad and regain his number one spot, he could potentially attract interest of major clubs around the world, particularly in Europe.
The possibility of losing Ofori to European suitors could put Pirates on high alert in the chase of Mothwa.
In structuring contracts, AmaZulu seem to have learned their lesson after they lost the services of Sibusiso Mabiliso (who has since returned to the club) and Siyethemba Sithebe both to Kaizer Chiefs, while they were still in the process of negotiating new deals.