KAIZER Chiefs are chasing after the services of veteran defender Thabo Matlaba in their bid to plug their leaky left-back position.
SunSport has reliably learnt that Amakhosi are leading the race for the 31 year-old player’s signature with Absa Premiership leaders Bidvest Wits and SuperSport United also interested in Matlaba’s services.
According to a source, Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp allegedly asked his management to engage Orlando Pirates for Matlaba’s availability.
Matlaba’s contract with Bucs expires at the end of the season and he could go for free if they don’t sell him during the current transfer window period.
Although the German has stabilised Amakhosi’s defence since, he replaced Giovanni Solinas last month and the left-back position seems to be the area of concern for him.
This was evident during Chiefs’ 2-1 Absa Premiership defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns as he replaced Godfrey Walusimbi, who struggled to contain the speed of Anthony Laffor, which led to his opening goal in the third minute.
Walusimbi was replaced with Teenage Hadebe immediately at the start of second half, but the 23-year-old seems to lack the experience.
Said Middendorp after the match: “We made little mistakes on the left and right, and we lacked decision making.”
However, Matlaba still lacks match fitness as he has seen little action since Milutin Sredojevic took charge of Bucs in August 2017. The Serbian-born has preferred Innocent Maela in the starting line-up, with Mthokozisi Dube as back-up.
Said the source: “Chiefs have shown interest on Matlaba and management are busy negotiating with Pirates hoping to sign him immediately.”
Matlaba’s agent Abbie Rasimphi could not deny nor confirm that the Soweto giants have indeed approached Bucs.
He said: “Matlaba’s contract with Pirates expires in June. There are teams enquiring, but there is nothing concrete at the moment.”