Chippa United coy over interest in Sundowns defender Thabo Nthethe

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Thabo Nthethe
The Chilli Boys have refuted claims suggesting that they have signed the Masandawana defender for the 2018/19 PSL season

With reports circulating that Chippa United have signed outgoing Mamelodi Sundowns defender Thabo Nthethe, the Chilli Boys have played down the rumours.

The former Bloemfontein Celtic centre back is reportedly on his way to Port Elizabeth as his contract comes to an end with the Brazilians at the end of June.

Nthethe’s future has been a subject of much speculation in recent times with clubs such as Orlando Pirates and SuperSport United having been previously linked with him in January.

Moreover, local media reports suggest that the Bloemfontein-born player also known as ‘Mr Cool’ will play his football with the Chilli Boys next season.

Although Goal tried to contact the club officials for a comment regarding the 33-year-old’s imminent arrival at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, both Peter Kotroulis and Luthando Zibeko could not confirm the signing.

CEO Kotroulis said it is unprofessional to talk about players who are contracted to other clubs, but they will comment once they have made an announcement.

“Look, it will be unprofessional to talk about players who will be joining us because they are still part of their clubs,” Kotroulis told Goal.

“We will make the signings as a club at the right time. There is no coach who can say no to a player like Nthethe, he is experienced and quality,” he said.

“But for now I cannot tell you anything. It's difficult to say we are talking to him, I am sure any coach will speak to him - he is quality," he concluded.

The former Bafana Bafana skipper joined the 2017/18 Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions in 2014 from Siwelele and has won several major titles with the Tshwane side.

He helped the club win two league titles,  a Caf Champions League, Telkom Knockout Cup, Caf Super Cup and the Nedbank Cup.

However, he has fallen down the pecking order at Chloorkop as Mosimane prefers the likes of Ricardo Nascimento, Wayne Arendse and Motjeka Madisha in the heart of the defence.

The veteran only made two appearances in all competitions and will be seeking regular game time considering his age and experience.

In addition, Chippa’s head of marketing and communications Zibeko, could not also confirm the signing, suggesting that it’s just mere speculation.

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"We cannot comment as a club on rumours because we have not made any announcement regarding the player,” added Zibeko.

“For now it is pure speculation and it is baseless. I cannot also comment on whether we have engaged him or his managers - it's just speculation in the media, that's all I can say for now," he concluded.

Should Nthethe join United, he will battle it out with skipper James Okwuosa, Frederic Nsabiyumbva, Ayabulela Konqobe for a place in the starting line-up.