City decide against Bacela signing

Cape Town City FC have decided against signing former Orlando Pirates striker Lennox Bacela as they feel he wouldn't improve on what they already have.

Bacela was on the books of the University Of Pretoria last season, where he amassed 29 appearances in all competitions but scored just three goals.

The Knysa-born forward was on trial with the Mother City outfit for more than a month, but any hopes of a long-term reunion with former coach Tinkler were dashed when the former Buccanners mentor confirmed the club's decision not to sign him.

"We won't sign Lennox. We've always said that if we do bring players in the striking department, that they should be better [than what we have] and add some value," Tinkler told KickOff.

"We've been training for three weeks now and the squad is nearly finalised. We've made a few good signings thus far and there's been some scouting as well.

"We also have a few talented youngsters training with us. The idea is to have a squad of 26 players and we will be ready when the season starts.

"So yes, our puzzle is nearly completed," he concluded.

Odula ready for debut

Gor Mahia have been boosted by the availability of new midfielder Crispin Odula after receiving his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) clearance.

The defending Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions signed the midfielder from AC Oulu in Finland, beating rivals AFC Leopards to his signature.

"Odula has the clearance to feature for us; everything is ready, his papers are clean and to the best of my knowledge he is fit enough since he has been training with the rest," Club secretary general Ronald NgalaSoka.

"As it is now, it is up to the coach to decide when he is ready to play but from the management's side we have cleared all."

Baroka confirm Massa capture

Baroka FC have confirmed the capture of Uganda international striker Geofrey Massa from Bloemfontein Celtic.

Massa had fallen out of favour at Celtic last season after joining from the University of Pretoria in 2014.

The newly promoted Premiership side have been active in the transfer market after making no less than 13 new signings already.

"Baroka and Celtic are working together now. Our relationship is more of working hand in hand when it comes to players," Mamilla told KickOff.

"For Massa to come to us there was sort of a brotherhood agreement. He has signed for two years. It's one plus a one-year option but we are going to exercise the option.

"I'm looking more for hungry players. Massa is a hungry player when you compare him to other strikers. Now it's time for him to prove that he can play because he wasn't playing regularly at Celtic.

"He said he want to play and remember he is a captain of a national team. All the players are looking up to him. So it's a challenge for him but I think he will do well."

Chippa remain mum on Masuku deal

Chippa United reveal that are not going to respond to allegations that Menzi Masuku's move to the Port-Elizabeth based outfit from Orlando Pirates has yet to be concluded.

The South African U23 international last week claimed nothing was finalised regarding his move from Pirates to the Chilli Boys, despite both Premiership outfits revealing that the deal had been concluded and the club has decided not to get involved in the media frenzy.

"I'm not going to respond to whatever was said in the media. We will make announcements when we can to clarify issues if we have to clarify issues. I cannot have an exchange with a player through the media," Chippa's communications manager Luthando Zibeko told KickOff.

"If there are, you know, whatever that is going on, we will respond as a club appropriately," he concluded.

Masuku was selected as part of the 18-man South African football squad set to take part in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janierio from 5 to 16 August.

Howe talks up Ibe potential

Eddie Howe has backed his latest signing Jordan Ibe to become a senior international for the England squad after signing for AFC Bournemouth.

Howe sanctioned a £15million deal for the 20-year-old winger, breaking the club's record transfer fee which was previously held by Benik Afobe's £10million January move from Wolverhampton.

According to the Cherries boss, the former Liverpool winger has all the potential and attributes to become a hit at the Vitality Stadium and ultimately the Three Lions squad after he scored on debut.

"Jordon scored a good goal and we saw glimpses of what he can do. I am excited to work with him over a longer period of time," he said after the pre-season friendly against Portsmouth.

"Hopefully Jordon can get in the full England squad. That has to be his aim and is certainly my aim - to take all these boys to new levels.

"If that means the national team then so be it. My only concern is getting them playing to their full potential for Bournemouth."

Sakho sent home from America tour

Injured Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho has been excluded from the club's tour of the United States of America over concerns about his attitude,

Sakho, along with a number of other injured Reds players, were not expected to play any of the tour matches but were included in the traveling party in order to promote unity among the squad.

However, reports have since emerged that the 26-year-old arrived at the airport late for their flight to the USA and has now been sent home to recover from his Achilles injury in England.

The seemingly innocuous move took a sinister turn after a video surfaced online of the defender interrupting Jurgen Klopp filming himself in during a tour of Alcatraz Island.

The Liverpool manager can be seen telling Sakho, "Actually I don't have to think about it. You should think about it, because only one of us came late last night, for departure in Liverpool. It was not me, it was you by the way."

Competition for places in the Liverpool defence are set to be intense in the early season after the Reds picked up centre-back Ragnar Klavan and reportedly also have former Barcelona defender Juanma among their ranks on trial.

Mutapa thrilled with semi berth

Zambia U-17 coach Oswald Mutapa says the COSAFA U-17 Cup is providing a great platform for him to gauge the quality he has at his disposal.

Mutapa's charges eased into the semi-finals of the competition currently taking place in Mauritius following convincing wins over Kenya (4-0) and Malawi (3-0).

With six points, Zambia, the defending champions, are already assured of a place in the semis. Their final match is on Tuesday against Madagascar, who lost both their two opening matches 2-1.

Mutapa is pleased with what he has seen so far from his young side, and is also looking ahead to the future, with the 2017 U-17 African Cup of Nations qualifiers set to kick off next month.

"It feels great to win a second game and I am happy with the result," Mutapa was quoted as saying on the SuperSport website.

"It is very motivating for the team because we now know how to handle the qualifiers.

"We are trying by all means to see how every player will perform because all this is preparations for the crucial Africa Cup qualifiers."

Arendse pleased to be linked with Pirates

Mamelodi Sundowns defender Wayne Arendse admits that it is flattering to be linked with Soweto giants Orlando Pirates.

According to Arendse, anything is possible with one season remaining on his contract at Sundowns and Pirates reportedly interested in his services.

Pirates are reportedly looking for experience in defence after Tshepo Gumede was sold to Cape Town City and the future of veteran Rooi Mahamutsa still in doubt.

"Look, there is always the possibility of renewing my contract in January because this is my last season [final contract year] with Sundowns, and I don't foresee any problems with that happening," Ngcongca told KickOff.

"This time of the season you will hear and read these kinds of reports, you know. But it's for Sundowns to decide what my future holds.

"At the same time they cannot also keep me hanging, so everything is still up in the air. If Pirates are interested in me, it says that I'm doing something right. I'm flattered to be quite honest. They are a big and club and if they come knocking at any player's door, who wouldn't be chuffed?"

Mosimane praise for Vila abilities

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has gushed over talents of newly acquired midfielder Sibusiso Vilakazi.

Sundowns beat rivals Kaizer Chiefs to the signature of the 2014 Premiership Footballer of the Season after reaching an agreement with Wits.

The blockbuster transfer saw Mogakalodi Ngele and Cuthbert Malajila move the appositive direction from Sundowns to Wits.

Mosimane admitted that the defending Premiership champions had been chasing the 26-year-old since last year. In the transfer window, the Brazilians have also signed Lucky Mohomi and Ricardo Nascimento.

"It has been more than a year that we worked on this transfer, I am being serious. It has been more than a year," he told Goal.

"Good things come with time, it was worth the wait and finally he is here. It is because the he has quality, he is a Sundowns type of player, when I am saying he is a Sundowns player I am not only talking about his technical ability, but also his tactical ability.

"We need those kind of players, if you can only play one position it becomes a problem. In my team you must be able to move around.

"He fits in, he is also a Bafana Bafana player - he has the mind, he is mentally strong to play continental football and he scores goals, he is a good player."

Allen explains Potters move

Wales midfielder Joe Allen says his new manager and compatriot Mark Hughes was the decisive factor in his move from Liverpool for a reported £13million fee.

Allen failed to hold down a regular starting berth at Liverpool and Reds boss Jurgen Klopp was open about the 26-year-old's chances of getting more playing time next season.

However, he proved his ability with some stellar performances as a box-to-box midfielder in the Dragons run to the Euro 2016 semi-finals, earning himself admirers across Europe.

"He [Hughes] sold the club to me in terms of their ambitions moving forward," he said after signing a five-year deal with the Potters. "I wanted first-team football and for that reason it wasn't too difficult.

"I knew there was an opportunity like this here for me and it was easy to make the move. My ambition is to be a regular here and help Stoke City.

"They have been very stable in recent years and hopefully we can move upwards."