Celtic have joined the long list of clubs after South African striker Katlego Mphela. The Mamelodi Sundowns forward has been attracting a lot of interest from clubs in Europe.
With Dynamo Kiev, Maccabi Haifa and Partizan Belgrade all failing in attempts to sign the twenty six year old hitman. Now it looks like Celtic are after his signature with Mphela’s agent Glyn Binkin last night confirming to STV News that his client has been offered a trial period at the Parkhead club between the 25th and 29th of July. Binkin said…
“Mphela has an offer of a trial with Celtic, I’ve passed the invitation on to Sundowns in the last twenty four hours”.
Mphela is somewhat of an unknown talent having applied most of his trade in Africa. He will however be remembered for scoring a spectacular 30 yard free kick against Spain in the 2009 Confederations Cup third place play off. In the same year he finished top goal scorer finishing 17 goals in 30 games for Sundowns.
Resulting in him also winning the player of the season award in his respective league. Mphela also impressed in his performances for South Africa in the 2010 World Cup. Although the Bafana Bafana failed to make the knock out stages of the competition. Mphela made a big impact with his power and pacey running up front and scored the second in South Africa’s final group stage match in a 2-1 win over France.
Celtic boss Neil Lennon is obviously aware of Mphela’s talents but with the player failing to make an impact the last time he moved to Europe. Lennon wants to take him on trial to get a closer look before making any permanent move.
The South African hitman has over 40 caps at International Level with 19 goals in return. However in 2004 he signed for French club Strasbourg making 20 appearances in his first season but failed to find the back of the net in any of the games he played in.
This ultimately saw him being loaned out in the next season to Stade Remis where he also failed to make an impact and in 2006 he returned to Africa with Supersport United. With this in mind Lennon seems justified in his caution over the striker and a trial seems the best situation for both parties. With Mphela wanting to show that he can make it on the European scene and Neil Lennon to see whether the player is the right man to bolster his attacking options for the fast approaching SPL season ahead.