Castro‚ Ngele and Malajila all Sundowns players after window shuts

01 September 2017 - 12:44 By Marc Strydom
Mamelodi Sundowns's Colombian striker Leonardo Castro during the club's training session and press conference at Chloorkop on July 06, 2017 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Mamelodi Sundowns's Colombian striker Leonardo Castro during the club's training session and press conference at Chloorkop on July 06, 2017 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

Leonardo Castro has been registered as one of Mamelodi Sundowns’ five foreign players for their 2017-18 season.

Mogakolodi Ngele and Cuthbert Malajila will be registered once their South African permanent residence‚ which Sundowns have applied for‚ is passed.

It appears Castro‚ Ngele and Malajila were held onto during the transfer window‚ which closed at midnight on Thursday‚ as bargaining chips as Downs attempted to sign Jeremy Brockie from SuperSport United and Aubrey Ngoma from Cape Town City.

But those attempts met a brick wall from both clubs and all three will be part of Downs coach Pitso Mosimane’s plans.

Ngele and Malajila were recalled from their year’s loan winning the Absa Premiership title and MTN8 trophy at Bidvest Wits last season.

Castro played a more marginal role in 2016-17‚ after being part of Downs’ vaunted CBD (Castro‚ Khama Billiat‚ Keagan Dolly) attack winning the PSL and Caf Champions League in 2015-16.

He has returned to South Africa after his wife had a another baby‚ in a second off-season in succession‚ in Colombia‚ Downs’ communications coordinator Thulani Thuswa said.

“He’s back in the country. The club had given him some time off because his wife was going to give birth‚ and she did to a healthy‚ beautiful baby boy‚” Thuswa said.

Sundowns’ five foreigners for 2016-17 are new Ghanaian goalkeeper Razak Brimah‚ Fares Hachi (Algeria)‚ Soumahoro Bangaly‚ Yannick Zakri (both Ivory Coast) and Castro.

Star Zimbabwean forward Khama Billiat obtained his permanent residence in 2015.

“Ngele and Malajila – we’ve applied for their permanent residency. And they are our players so they can be registered at any time. We are not bound by the transfer deadline‚” Thuswa said.

Burundian forward Fiston Abdul Razak‚ who was recalled from last season’s loan to Bloemfontein Celtic‚ has not been registered for the coming season.

“Fiston Razak is not with us. He’s not registered‚ so that’s why you don’t see his name here. We might have to release the player‚ but it’s not confirmed yet‚” Thuswa said.

- TimesLIVE

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