The future of Bafana Bafana midfielder Andile Jali is far from settled, Goal can exclusively reveal.
However, the Buccaneers are reluctant to match what both Chiefs and Sundowns are willing to offer the 28-year-old hard-tackling midfielder.
Goal has gathered that Sundowns had paperwork prepared for Jali last week, but the player didn't sign as he is believed to be holding out for a return to the Sea Robbers.
The only problem at this stage is that Pirates are not willing to up their offer for the services of Jali even though he wants to play for them next season, according to the source.
"Both Chiefs and Sundowns have tabled enticing offers in terms of salary and signing-on fees, but Jali is hoping Pirates will come back with a better deal," the source told Goal.
"What Pirates are offering is not even close to what he would get if he were to sign for either Chiefs or Sundowns, but he hasn't lost hope, and it is for this reason he still hasn't signed with anyone," said the source.
"Sundowns have a written offer for him with all the numbers, and they were expecting him to have signed it by now, but he hasn't signed. They are still pushing to get the deal signed, but it looks like they will have to wait a bit longer," added the source.
"The presence of Ace at Sundowns could persuade him to join them, but his heart is with Pirates although he would have to accept whatever is on the table for him to return. Going to Chiefs would make good business sense, but is he going to be happy there? These are some of the things he has to consider before he signs with anyone," concluded the source.
Jali recently returned home after four years in Belgium where he played for KV Oostende, and his decision to want to play in the Premier Soccer League next season saw all the big three teams chase after him.
The South Africa international previously said that he would join a team that is ambitious about winning the Caf Champions League, and at the time, both Pirates and Sundowns appeared to be the frontrunners.
However, it's no longer that obvious as the numbers don't match what he was hoping to get from the Buccaneers.
The ball is still firmly in Jali's court, and the next few weeks will very interesting as the three clubs continue to battle for his signature.