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Andile Jali transfer saga: Chiefs, Pirates, stay at Sundowns? What happens next?

12:22 PM EST 1/28/23
Andile Jali Mamelodi Sundowns.
What are the options open to Andile Jali as talk intensifies around his future in South African football?

Andile Jali excelled again on Saturday as Mamelodi Sundowns defeated Sekhukhune United to make it 14 straight victories in the PSL.

Having been in and out of the team under Rulani Mokwena in recent months, the veteran has again stepped into a key role in recent fixtures, reaffirming the value he has for this Sundowns side.

However, with no new contract forthcoming, his future at the club remains somewhat uncertain, and as deadline day draws closer, talk around his next steps are intensifying.

Here’s a rundown of the options available to Jali, who appears to be arriving at a career crossroads.

  • New contract at Sundowns

    As revealed by his agent Mike Makaab recently, Jali appears to have been left in the dark about his future at Mamelodi Sundowns.

    It seems as though no contract offer has been forthcoming, or if it has, Jali has so far resisted putting pen to paper on a new deal.

    The midfielder has demonstrated that he still has a lot to offer, and it would surely be in Downs’ interest to pin him down to a new deal.

  • Andile Jali, Mamelodi Sundowns, August 2022

    Player-coach role

    Another option for the reigning PSL champions could be to renew Jali but in a player-coach role, allowing him to begin being groomed to one day take the reins as the Brazilians’ head coach.

    Already, fans joke that Jali is the club’s fourth assistant coach, and it’s understood that he has a massive influence on the squad’s younger players behind the scenes.

    Tying Jali down to a long-term player-coach role, allowing him to transition to a back-room role, would by a wise way to ensure Sundowns benefit from his experience and track record a long way into the future.

  • Leave at the season’s end

    Unless a new deal is agreed, and assuming he doesn’t move somewhere else before deadline day, Jali is primed to depart Sundowns on a free at the season’s end.

    He’ll be 33 come June, and despite his quality, it’s hard to see another move abroad, so could another PSL team be set to benefit from the Bafana Bafana star for 23-24?

    As things stand, this is the direction things are heading for Jali.

  • Andile Jali Mamelodi Sundowns.

    Kaizer Chiefs

    There’s no South African giant that need Jali more than Chiefs.

    Their midfield has been underwhelming for much of the campaign, and the departure of Njabulo Blom weakens them even further.

    Jali has the experience, poise, confidence and arrogance that has been missing at times from Arthur Zwane’s Chiefs, who have become a familiar destination for Sundowns veterans in recent years.

    He could help restore the club’s winning mentality, and would complete a personal hat-trick of playing for all of the PSL’s three giants.

  • Orlando Pirates

    Another option that’s been mooted for Jali is a return to Orlando Pirates, the club he served with such distinction between 2009 and 2014.

    The diminutive midfielder reached the pinnacle of the domestic game with Bucs during those years—and reached the Caf Champions League final—and he’d be a valuable example to the current crop as the Sea Robbers look to restore to the top of the pile.

    Imagine how Jali could benefit the likes of Miguel Timm and Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo could benefit from playing alongside the veteran week in, week out.