Mamelodi Sundowns' Sirino: Would price-tag be a stumbling block for Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates?

15:59 WAT 23/01/2022
Gaston Sirino, Sundowns & Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Kaizer Chiefs, August 2018
With Downs already having five foreign registered players, the talk has been that it could be the fiery Uruguayan who makes way for the new man

The expected arrival of Erwin Saavedra at Mamelodi Sundowns could potentially enable a team like Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates to make a move for Masandawana star Gaston Sirino.

Sundowns are yet to confirm Saavedra’s arrival, but a tweet from his former team Club Bolivar, announcing the parting of ways, has made his signing for the Brazilians appear imminent.

Sirino and Saavedra were actually team-mates at Bolivar and could therefore form an exciting partnership at Sundowns.

But apart from exceeding the foreign player rule or needing to release one of Peter Shalulile (Namibia), Divine Lunga (Zimbabwe), Ricardo Nascimento (Brazil) or Pavol Safranko (Slovakia), the problem with Sirino playing alongside Saavedra, is that he has not been in the action for the Brazilians.

Since making it clear he was keen on joining Pitso Mosimane at Al Ahly, the relationship between Sirino and the club seems to have turned sour and he’s featured in 11 games this season, playing a full 90 minutes just once, and accumulating only 512 minutes. His last game was on November 12.

With links to Al Ahly having gone cold (as well as a frosty relationship between Downs and the Egyptian side these days), there’s the possibility of Sirino staying in the PSL and playing for one of the country’s traditional giants, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.

Both clubs are struggling to recapture former glories and could potentially do with a charismatic match-winner like Sirino. One would certainly think the likes of Stuart Baxter or Fadlu Davids and Mandla Ncikazi would be interested.

Downs, though, might want to reclaim some of the roughly R20 million Saavedra is expected to set them back.

That aside, it’s Sirino contract situation that means it is unlikely that he would come at a bargain price.

That’s because the 30-year-old signed a five-year contract extension in June 2020.

Sure to be on a hefty salary as well, the length of his contract would add complexity to the situation.

However, Sundowns won’t want to be paying a player who’s not playing, and so may even consider lowering their asking price.

Seemingly no longer part of Sundowns’ plans, Sirino (currently valued at around R11 - R12 million) might have to consider a salary reduction if he wants to play in the PSL rather than return home. He had after all been prepared to stay in South Africa - where he is well settled with his family - until 2025 in any case.

That might just open the door for Chiefs or Pirates, even though the Soweto giants are not known to be in the same spending bracket as Sundowns.

And both Amakhosi and the Buccaneers are probably carrying players who either need to be offloaded due to lack of game-time, or who may retire at the end of the season – potentially lessening the wage bill.

It would seem that either Chiefs or Pirates could possibly get Sirino on board – if they want him enough and if he wants to play for one of the country's most famous clubs.