Sundowns secure deadline day signing of Mahlambi

One of Phakamani Mahlambi's 15 appearances for Al Ahly -- before his return to South Africa -- came in the CAF Champions League against Uganda's Kampala CC. Ismail Kezaala/BackpagePix

Mamelodi Sundowns have confirmed the capture of South Africa international Phakamani Mahlambi, ending their long chase of the Al Ahly player.

Mahlambi arrives at Chloorkop after 12 months in Cairo that proved unsuccessful for the player and a massive financial loss for the club following his move from Bidvest Wits at the start of last season.

Mahlambi, seen as one of the brightest young talents in South African football, has signed a five-year contract that will prove a windfall for Wits as well.

KweséESPN learnt earlier this week that Sundowns were offering in the region of US$800 000, according to sources.

That represented a major financial loss for Al Ahly, who paid $1.51-million to Wits for his services a year ago.

According to that contract, they must now pay Wits a total of $465 000 as a sell-on fee, putting Ahly's losses at potentially more than a $1-million.

Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has made no secret of his admiration for Mahlambi's talent and has been open on the club's readiness to bring him on board.

"I see Phakamani following the route of a 20-year-old in Bongani Zungu, who we signed and went to Europe‚" Mosimane said recently.

"We had a 20-year-old we signed in Keagan Dolly who went to Europe. The youngster Percy Tau‚ I think we had him from when he was a 17-year-old‚ he went to Europe.

"Does it make sense to sign Phakamani? If I look at the reference of what I've just said I think it makes sense to sign him."

Mahlambi made his debut for Wits as 17-year-old in the 2015/16 season, after which a knee injury kept him out of action for 10 months.

He joined Ahly ahead of last season, but he made just seven league appearances for the side and this season was sent to train on his own after handing in a transfer request.