Maritzburg were left confused after Tintswalo Tshabalala disappeared before signing the contract with them.
The former Platinum Stars midfielder was supposed to seal a deal with the Team of Choice on Thursday, and Phakaaathi has gathered that club chairman Farook Kadodia had prepared everything.
A source said Kadodia had even boasted after unveiling Siyanda Xulu on Thursday morning that he would be signing an experienced midfielder later on.
“He played in a friendly against Bloemfontein Celtic on Thursday morning and was expected to go to the office afterwards to sign the contract but he disappeared. No one knows what happened.
“Now the suspicion is that Celtic sent a player to speak to him during the match to convince him to join them. I think he went with them on their bus after the match,” said a Phakaaathi source.
Tshabalala was seen as a suitable replacement for Kurt Lentjies who left the Team of Choice for Chippa United in June.
Another Phakaaathi source informed this website that Phunya Sele Sele had wanted to sign Tshabalala as reported on Friday’s Phakaaathi Plus.