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Sports News of Sunday, 21 July 2019

Source: thesouthafrican.com

Orlando Pirates given boost in Yacouba Songné pursuit

Orlando Pirates have been chasing after Burkina Faso striker Yacouba Songné and, after their pursuit hit a snag earlier in the week, emerged an indication that a deal may yet still be on.

The 27-year-old, who is currently in the books of Ghanaian outfit Asante Kotoko, has long been linked with a move to the Buccaneers, with initial reports suggesting that he had signed a pre-contract with the Soweto giants towards the end of the previous campaign.

However, with Pirates announcing a host of signings in the ongoing transfer window, the player’s name appeared nowhere and, more recently, it was revealed that the club had tabled a bid that was rejected by Kotoko.

Despite the setback, things have begun looking up for the Buccaneers and other suitors, which include Zambian giants Zesco United, after Yacouba handed in a transfer request.

According to reports coming in from Ghana, Kotoko are looking to the future without the marksman.

“I have already said we should take our eyes off Yacouba, because we have spoken to him several times and he doesn’t want to stay,” Asante Kotoko general manager George Amoako is widely quoted as saying.

“We have received offers and we are still in negotiations. I once said supporters of the Club should just take their eyes off him.”


How Yacouba could fit in at Orlando Pirates

With the recent departure of centre forward Thamsanqa Gabuza, Orlando Pirates are yet to sign an out-and-out number nine to fill the hole left by the veteran marksman.

In their ranks, the Buccaneers have Zambian duo Justin Shonga and Augustine Mulenga, who have mostly operated in a fluid front three under coach Milutin Sredojevic.

Among the newer recruits, there is Malawian international Gabadinho Mhango and Zambian forward Austin Muwowo, who have both spent a great deal of time operating wide for their former teams.

The pursuit of Yacouba could suggest that Pirates are looking to revert to having a big presence in the middle of their attacking line, a role that could be filled by either new signing Tshegofatso Mabasa or the Burkinabe.

Orlando Pirates averaged 1.5 goals a match in the previous league campaign, with wingers Thembinkosi Lorch and Vincent Pule leading the charge, and could benefit from having a more clinical forward adding to their firepower.

The club could also be bracing to replace Shonga, amid strong links to Egyptian giants Al Ahly.