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Orlando Pirates have no space for Bidvest Wits captain Thulani Hlatshwayo, suggests Rulani Mokwena

17:33 BST 10/07/2018
Rhulani Mokwena assistant coach of Orlando Pirates
The Bucs assistant coach believes that the team is covered in Hlatshwayo's position, hinting that they will not make a move for the Wits skipper

Orlando Pirates assistant coach Rulani Mokwena has refuted reports linking the club with Bidvest Wits captain Thulani Hlatshwayo.

The experienced defender has been on the radar of the Buccaneers since last season, and recent reports have indicated that the club is looking to sign him ahead of the 2018/19 season.

However, Mokwena has insisted that the Soweto giants are not keen to sign Hlatshwayo as they are covered in central defence. 

"I don't want to talk about other teams' players," Mokwena told the media at the launch of the SAB under-21 championships.

"But we have about seven centre-backs already. We have Justice Chabalala, Gladwin Shitolo, Happy Jele, Ntsikelelo Nyauza, Marshall Munetsi and two who have returned from loans - Sandile Mthethwa and Brian Hlongwa. So, we are covered there," he continued. 

Bucs have already reinforced their squad with nine players as they prepare for the new campaign which is set to start next month.

Defender-come-midfielders Asavela Mbekile, Paseka Mako and Abel Mabaso, attackers Linda Mntambo, Meshack Maphangule, Kudakwashe Mahachi, Vincent Pule, midfield maestro Ben Motshwari and goalkeeper Brilliant Khuzwayo all joined the Buccaneers last month.

Mokwena believes that the new arrivals will not destabilize the Bucs ship as the team looks to build on the success of last season. 

"There'll be no instability because the players are well-managed at Pirates," the former Mamelodi Sundowns assistant coach said.

"Man-management comes to the fore in moments like this. The new players will add value and bring about competitiveness to the club," he added. 

"They come with different dynamics. It's a good problem we have at Pirates that this season our squad is bigger," he concluded. 

Pirates travelled to Ndola on Tuesday for the second phase of their pre-season camp.

The Buccaneers are expected to take on DR Congo giants TP Mazembe in a friendly match in Ndola on Thursday.