Orlando Pirates have quickly shifted their focus to strengthening their squad before the impending close of the transfer window as the new DStv Premiership season gathers steam.
According to media reports, the Buccaneers are carefully assessing the possibility of starting negotiations with Royal AM about the potential acquisition of the talented 22-year-old midfielder Sphiwe Hopewell Cele.
“According to management insights, Pirates have already started their inquiries into Sphiwe Cele. The precise timeline for their interest, whether it relates to this month’s transfer window, the one to come in January, or even the season after that, is still unknown, according to the dependable Soccer Laduma source.
Hopewell Cele is definitely one to watch.
— Sahil Ebrahim (@sahil_e_) August 19, 2023
“Regardless of the intended timing, it is undeniably apparent that a genuine interest in the player exists,” the source said.
An authoritative Soccer Laduma insider who is intimately familiar with the situation stated that the current obstacle is the FIFA embargo placed on Royal AM, which may cast doubt on any potential transfer manoeuvres.
“Speculation about the Pirates’ interest in Sphiwe Hopewell Cele is rife. But one must take into account the current signing ban FIFA has placed on Royal AM. It is clear that Royal AM cannot afford to give up any of their players at the moment, even though the details of its implications are still unclear,” said the knowledgeable source.
“The answer to this conundrum seems elusive. However, it appears that Pirates have shown a lot of interest in this up-and-coming player,” the source emphasised.
Hopewell Cele demonstrated his talent in a recent DStv Premiership match on Friday by scoring for Royal AM despite their 3-1 loss to Stellenbosch FC.