SABC Sport can reveal that Mamelodi Sundowns are now in advanced talks to sign Moroccan defender Abdelmounaim Boutouil.

The Brazilians identified the player more than a year ago while he was on loan at Belgian club Royale Union Saint Gilloise – where Percy Tau starred during the 2018/19 season – but could not agree a deal with his parent club SCC Mohammedia for the transfer to go through at the time.

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According to information gathered by SABC Sport, the latest is that Sundowns are now very close to bringing Boutouil on board as talks with Mohammeedia are now at an advanced stage.

“It could be done by next week,” said an impeccable source.

The left-footed centre-back spent the last six months on the books of Moroccan giants Raja Casablanca, on loan from his parent club SCC Mohammedia, and it’s been confirmed he still has a year left on his initial contract there which suggests Downs will pay a transfer fee.

In the final weeks of the 2021/22 DStv Premiership season, co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi confirmed during a press conference in May that the league champions were keen to sign a centre-back after not replacing veteran Brazilian defender Ricardo Nascimento.

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Nascimento – now at Royal AM – was offloaded in January to free up a foreign spot when midfielder Erwin Saavedra was roped in from Bolivia.

To date, Sundowns have only announced the signing of Sipho Mbule from crosstown rivals SuperSport United, while a deal for Abubeker Nasir was already agreed in January, but the Ethiopian attacker was sent back on loan to Coffee SC for the remainder of the season.

SABC Sport also reported on Monday that Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Ronwen Williams was the subject of talks between Downs and the SuperSport hierarchy to make his much-anticipated move to Chloorkop before the start of the new campaign in August.

By Mazola Molefe

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