Andile Jali might soon be out of contract, but Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena is sure to push hard for the anchorman to be retained after revealing the player’s significant role at the club.

The gritty midfielder is set to enter the last six months of his contract. He signed a five-year deal in 2018 when he joined the Chloorkop giants from Belgium outfit KV Oostende.

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And while a lot has been said about his future at the club, Mokwena is keen to keep the 32-year-old. He regards the former Bafana Bafana ace as a treasure for the club’s posterity.

“AJ is very important to us. He is very important for the future of this football club. He has incredible qualities, and he is very important to have around.

“His mentality and insights are valuable and important to me. I use him as a third assistant coach, to tell you the truth, because he sits on the bench.

“He gives me a lot of information. He has incredible experience, which is apart from the human qualities which we appreciate and love having him within the club,” Mokwena told FARPost

The former Orlando Pirates gaffer hinted that the club is already in talks for a possible contract extension.

“That’s from a football perspective. The financial and contractual issues are handled in a different department at the club. I’m sure if there is an update to be given, the club will do,” he added.

Having been one of the league’s top performers in the last two seasons, Jali’s availability as a free agent will trigger a stampede for his signature.

Early this month, his management revealed that several European clubs are angling to acquire his services, while some local clubs are also believed to be knocking on the door.

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The midfield workhorse enforcer won big last season after helping the club account for the league title.

He deservedly won the MTN8 Last Man Standing, Nedbank Cup Player of the Tournament, and DStv Premiership Midfielder of the Season.


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