Africa-Press – Lesotho. Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) are in advanced talks with South African club Richards Bay over the sale of their on-fire striker Katleho Makateng. The 23-year-old has been a revelation for the club and country over the past year and has caught the attention of several teams across the border with Richards Bay apparently in pole position to sign him.
The KwaZulu-Natal club will be competing in South Africa’s top-flight for the first time in the new season after winning promotion in May and are the only club that have formalised their interest in Makateng so far.
Numerous others, including Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs, are reported to be watching Makateng closely, but they are yet to contact LDF. For his part, the striker is said to be very open to moving to Richards Bay and realising his dreams of playing professional football.
On Tuesday, LDF management sat down with the Lesotho international and informed him Richards Bay are the only team to have advanced their interest in signing him.
The South African outfit is offering Makateng a two-year deal with an option to renew for a further year. LDF spokesperson Donny Ntakha confirmed ‘Sohle-Sohle’ are in negotiations with Richards Bay but said a transfer fee has not been agreed on yet.
LDF’s club management is set to meet this week to agree on a reasonable asking price for their breakout star. Ntakha also confirmed Kaizer Chiefs’ interest despite their sporting director Kaizer Motaung Jr denying the speculation on Twitter on Monday when he replied with a ‘no’ to a South African publication that reported their interest in Makateng.
Ntakha said Kaizer Chiefs have indeed been in contact with LDF via telephone although they have not made an offer. “At the moment the only concrete interest that we can talk about is that of Richards Bay because they are the ones we are talking to.
We have the papers (with an offer) with us. With Kaizer Chiefs it’s been talks over the phone but nothing really (concrete) at the moment,” Ntakha said.
“There are other teams that are interested in him that we read about, but only those two (clubs) have contacted us and it is only Richards Bay who have formalised their interest.
When we told the player about how advanced Richards Bay is, he was pretty much open to that,” Ntakha added. A move to the DSTV Premiership would cap a meteoric rise for Makateng since he joined LDF from A-Division outfit Litšilo in January 2021.
Makateng scored an impressive 20 goals in the Vodacom Premier League last season and his displays saw him claim a record four awards at the league’s end of the season prize-giving ceremony.
Makateng similarly introduced himself with a bang on the international scene when he bagged a brace in Lesotho’s 3-1 victory over Seychelles in March in an African Cup of Nations qualifier.
That magic for Likuena continued at this month’s 2022 COSAFA Cup where he played a starring role for Lesotho with two goals at the tournament. It was enough to convince suitors of his qualities and Ntakha said if Kaizer Chiefs or another team does not come forward, a deal with Richards Bay could be concluded soon.
For the time being, Makateng has started training with LDF as the club begin their preseason programme. It would be ideal for the striker to join his new teammates as soon as possible. Makateng would leave Lesotho with a bag full of accolades.
At the Vodacom Premier League’s end of season awards last month he went home with the Top Scorer, Young Player, Player’s Player and Player of the Season trophies and the awards totalled M50 000 in prize money.
At the COSAFA Cup, Makateng scored in the first two games of the group stages and won the man-of-the-match awards in both of them. It is not surprising several clubs are chasing his signature.