Now that Thulani Hlatshwayo is expected to join Orlando Pirates instead of Mamelodi Sundowns, the Brazilians have to look elsewhere.
Sundowns have the scouting network and a wallet big enough to look anywhere else in the world, but the reality is that they don’t have to.
There is enough right under their noses here in the Premier Soccer League when you consider the Maritzburg United pair of Rushine De Reuck and Siyanda Xulu, who is out of contract at the end of the month and is an ex-Downs defender.
At 24 and 28 respectively, while ‘Tyson’ has hit the 30 age mark, the duo can give coach Pitso Mosimane peace of mind if he is thinking about longevity.
Sundowns also have the option to hold off signing a centreback – they have Motjeka Madisha, Ricardo Nascimento, Wayne Arendse and Mosa Lebusa, while Anele Ngcongca and Rivaldo Coetzee can also play in that position.
But coach Mosimane told the Siya crew last year that he needed a modern centreback, hence the push to try bring Hlatshwayo on board.
There’s also been mention of Buhle Mkhwanazi, the 30-year-old defender who was sold to Bidvest Wits by the Brazilians six years ago
Could Downs look to bring him back now that they appear to have lost out on landing the signature of his Bafana Bafana partner?
Ramahlwe Mphahlele is another name that has been thrown into the mix, with Sundowns believed to be monitoring his situation at Kaizer Chiefs closely.
‘Rama’ has become a fringe player at Naturena under coach Ernst Middendorp, but with the FIFA transfer ban, it’s unlikely Amakhosi will allow one of their senior players to leave, especially to join their title rivals.