Cavin Johnson insists Mamelodi Sundowns' interest in SuperSport's George Maluleka is purely part of a ploy to unsettle their neighbours and has come out in support of the nuggety midfielder.
“It’s part of mind-games, I believe, that even newspapers themselves start doing," Johnson said in Pretoria on Saturday.
“There was interest in George Maluleka two seasons ago from Sundowns. Did they buy him? No they didn’t, so what can they do?"
Although Johnson wants the former Ajax Cape Town playmaker to stay at Matsatsantsa, he admitted Sundowns would be a tempting offer for Maluleka.
“They (Sundowns) say, ‘Georgie you can come to Sundowns, we can play around with a pen and see what happens’.
“For me it’s just a lot of mind-games."
Meanwhile, Johnson has played down reports that United are in an advanced stage of contractual talks with Sundowns' Katlego Mphela, but hinted that a deal could well be reached for the former Bafana Bafana striker who is reportedly looking for a move away from the Brazilians as soon as possible.
“We could always do with something. Whether we’re looking at Katlego Mphela, that’s another story," Johnson said.
“Katlego’s contract is coming to an end at Sundowns. Who is the best team to come to? SuperSport!"
Mphela has attracted the likes of Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, while a move overseas is also said to be on the cards.
But Mphela could be encouraged to stay within Gauteng, in order to make a quick transition to a new team, following a frustrating last year at Chloorkop.
Johnson will have to be on guard on Monday, when United and Sundowns battle it out at Loftus Versfeld, as Pitso Mosimane will have a great opportunity to see Maluleka in action and could make up his mind about whether or not to offer him a bumper deal.