Will Hlatshwayo go or will he stay?
Wits coach Hunt says the Bafana captain is at home with Wits, even if rumours suggest otherwise
Bafana Bafana captain Thulani Hlatshwayo does not want to leave Bidvest Wits‚ and the club doesn’t want to sell him‚ Clever Boys coach Gavin Hunt says.
Speaking at an MTN8 media conference ahead of his side’s quarterfinal against SuperSport United at Bidvest Stadium on Sunday‚ Hunt admitted selling centreback Hlatshwayo to Orlando Pirates‚ who according to reports are keen on signing the player, would help cash-strapped Wits financially.
But it could destroy any chance of Wits‚ who finished third last season‚ challenging for the Premiership this season, he suggested.
Hunt was asked if he knew of any developments on Hlatshwayo’s status.
“No‚ I don’t think so‚ but after last night’s result we can name our price now‚ can’t we?” he joked.
The coach was referring to Pirates’ 3-0 loss to SuperSport United in Nelspruit on Wednesday night‚ where Bucs had put together a sloppy defensive display.
He continued: “No‚ he doesn’t want to go anywhere. He’s happy with us. Though you can never say never in football. I mean you look at what’s going on down the road as well [with Mamelodi Sundowns trying to re-sign Khama Billiat from Kaizer Chiefs].
“You know‚ players go for free and then they get bought back. So anything can happen in football.
“But‚ no‚ the boy doesn’t want to go‚ I don’t want to lose him. He knows that. He’s the captain of our club‚ of the national team. He feels he’s at home. And we’ve come a long way.”
Hunt admitted a lucrative sale of Hlatshwayo could ease Wits’ money issues. But it would also seriously disrupt their coming season.
“It would solve the financial problems‚ that’s for sure. But that’s not the point. We’ve got to look after our team and our club.
“He’s a player who has come a long way with us‚ from Ajax Cape Town‚ being an average rightback‚ to being the national team centreback and the captain.
“The media circus is not good for him‚ because he hears stories every day. It’s not coming from us‚ that’s for sure. I’ve always said‚ and this is something the PSL should look at‚ they should close the window before the first game.”