Orlando Pirates heading to Europe, brand new signings imminent?

Orlando Pirates will be heading to Europe again for pre-season preparations. They’re also on the brink of announcing some exciting transfer news.

Another European adventure for Pirates is in store

SoccerLaduma insiders have indicated that Orlando Pirates will hop on over to Spain and Germany for their latest pre-season tour. They were in the football-mad Iberian nation at the start of the 2023-2024 campaign. They went unbeaten in friendlies against Las Palmas, Ecuadorian side Independiente del Valle and Israeli outfit Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Orlando Pirates look to build on their domestic cup double

With qualification for the CAF Champions League and two more trophies in the cabinet, now’s a good time to be a Bucs fan. The club have also revealed that new signings could be imminent as they seek to seal a few key deals before embarking on their European tour.

“As we speak, management and the technical team are working on signing new players because they are supposed to travel with the rest of the squad when they leave in July. Anytime from today, the new players will be announced,” said the source.

More exits are looming

Pirates have already released Souaibou Marou, Fortune Makaringe, Thabang Monare, Siyabonga Mpontshane, Richard Ofori and Kermit Erasmus, while Deon Hotto and Zakhele Lepasa are names being bandied about for an exit next. The majority of these names feature prominently at the top of the Pirates wage bill. The board is trying to restructure player salaries and move on a few high earners on the wrong side of 30.

Zakhele Lepasa and Monnapule Saleng could both leave Pirates soon. Image: FarPost

Is Lepasa in need of a new challenge?

After a brief purple patch in front of goal in 2022, Zakhele Lepasa’s productivity has dried up. He scored three times in 15 league appearances in 2023-2024, often overlooked because of the form of Tshegofatso Mabasa and the physical prowess of Evidence Makgopa. Ironically, Golden Boot winner Mabasa, who struck 16 times in the DStv Premiership, isn’t part of Hugo Broos’ plans at the national level. Meanwhile, Lepasa has been one of the Belgian’s most trusted squad options behind Makgopa for Bafana. However, Lepasa wasn’t included in the recent group for qualifiers against Nigeria and Zimbabwe, perhaps indicating now’s the time for him to secure first-team football elsewhere and get his club career back on track.

How do you feel ahead of the new campaign, Bucs fans?

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