Mamelodi Sundowns fans eagerly awaiting the unveiling of the club’s two newest international recruits have to practice some patience.

SABC Sport has been informed that defender Abdelmounaim Boutouil and midfielder Marcelo Allende are still held up by visa and work permit applications, documents that are by their nature tedious and often have a lot of red tape.

Morocco outfit Sporting Club Mohammedia confirmed last month already that a deal had been agreed between the two sides and that Boutouil would join the Brazilians on a five-year contract before the start of the 2022/23 Premier Soccer League season.

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But he is still yet to arrive in the country, and information gathered by SABC Sport indicates that the centre back is struggling to get a visa.

What has emerged also is that Allende is in the same predicament, although Sundowns are working tirelessly behind the scenes to get both players to join up with their new teammates, be inducted and hit the ground running.

Downs are also hoping to have both players registered before the CAF Champions League cut-off date, which is set for 15 August.

Although co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi last week refused to comment on Boutouil and Allende at the launch of the DStv Premiership, it’s believed Downs are desperately trying to make room for the two players.

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The Premier Soccer League only allows clubs to have up to five foreigners on their books at any given time, and last season Sundowns had Divine Lunga, Pavol Safranko, Peter Shalulile, Gaston Sirino and Erwin Saavedra.

But Lunga was this week confirmed to have returned to Golden Arrows on loan, freeing up one of the slots for international players who do not have permanent residency permit (PRP), a document Sundowns are racing against time to get for Shalulile.

It will become clear on the opening day of the DStv Premiership whether the Namibian striker has been registered as a local or foreigner, but indications are that Shalulile might already have his PRP.

By: Mazola Molefe

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