Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt has expressed his wish to keep Thulani Hlatshwayo at the club amidst Orlando Pirates rumours.
Shortly after Hlatshwayo told the media that he relishes a new challenge this morning, his coach Hunt has come out to say that the player is happy at the club and losing him is unimaginable.
Asked by Times Live if he has any news on Hlatshwayo’s rumoured move to Pirates, Hunt said: “No‚ I don’t think so‚ but after last night’s result we can name our price now‚ can’t we?” Hunt joked.
The four-time Absa Premiership winning coach then turn serious to say: “No‚ he doesn’t want to go anywhere. He’s happy with us – he’s fine.”
“You know‚ you can never say never in football. I mean you look at what’s going on down the road as well [with Mamelodi Sundowns trying to sign back Khama Billiat from Kaizer Chiefs].
“You know‚ players go for free and then they get bought back. So anything can happen in football. You watch overseas as well – I’m sure there will be a bit of movement before the window closes.”
Hunt went further to stress that the 29-year-old central defender is aware the coach wants him to stay in Braamfontein and it is where the Soweto-born player feels happy.
“But‚ no‚ the boy doesn’t want to go‚ I don’t want to lose him. He knows that.”
“He’s the captain of our club‚ of the national team. He feels he’s at home. And we’ve come a long way. Yes‚ there always comes a time. And things inevitably happen eventually. But right now he is happy.”
While Wits have not hidden the fact that the club are experiencing financial constraints, Hunt slightly admitted that Hlatshwayo’s sale would make a needed difference.
“It would solve all our problems‚ ja. And give us problems with no centreback.”
“It’s a no-brainer [to sell him]. It would solve the financial problems‚ that’s for sure. But that’s not the point. We’ve got to look after our team and our club.”
“He’s a player who has come a long way with us‚ from Ajax Cape Town‚ being an average right-back‚ to being the national team centre back and the captain. So‚ we want to keep him,” added the Bafana Bafana-linked coach.