The 28-year-old was arguably the most highly sought-after signing of the off-season after he parted ways with his club in Belgium KV Oostende. This led to much speculation surrounding his potential final destination in the weeks leading up to his eventual move.
A return to Pirates was heavily touted as well as there was interest from Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns, but reports later suggested that it was a two horse race between Masandawana and Amakhosi.
Nonetheless, after Jali signed a five-year deal, money was believed to be at the forefront of the move, but his representative, Mike Makaab of Prosport International has explained that it wasn’t money which influenced the transfer.
“He felt that maybe his playing style will be more suited for Sundowns. He took a long time to make the decision. Both teams had similar offers. You could have tossed the coin and it could have gone either way. At the end he wanted to join Sundowns,” Makaab told the Sunday Tribune.
“The other thing that Andile considered was the fact that he played for Orlando Pirates before and it was going to be difficult for him if he ended up at Chiefs. It wasn’t easy at all. This is one of the toughest transfer I’ve ever done locally,” Makaab added.
Meanwhile, Makaab is optimistic about Jali’s future at Chloorkop despite previous suggestions that his presence could perhaps bringing instability to the reigning Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions’ dressing room.
“Jali is in his prime of his career. That’s why he signed a five-year deal. He is committed to Sundowns. There’s no concern maybe he might fail. He had four years of success in Belgium and is ready to prove himself,” Maakab said.
“He is matured. He is more professional. Pitso (Mosimane) sat down with him and explained what is expected of him. He is an experienced coach,” he concluded.