Cape Town City sign Bafana starlet Links

Gift Links playing for Platinum Stars during the 2017 Maize Cup Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

South African Premier Soccer League side Cape Town City have pulled off a coup with the signing of exciting teenage talent Gift Links for a club record fee, the Mother City team confirmed on Thursday.

The 19-year-old is viewed as one of the hottest properties in the country and had been playing at Egyptian Premier League side Pyramids FC.

But an overhaul of that club following its sale to Saudi Arabian billionaire Turki Al al-Sheikh has seen most of last season's squad leave, with the acquisition of new players already totaling over US$33-million (R456-million).

Links had offers to stay in Egypt or return to the PSL, and he has chosen to continue his career in Cape Town under coach Benni McCarthy.

"Cape Town City is delighted to announce the acquisition of 19-year-old South African international, Gift Links! The attacking midfielder signs a five-year-deal, joining City for a club record fee from Egyptian Premier League outfit Pyramids FC," City confirmed in a statement.

Links will face competition for a first team place, though, with the left side of the City midfield already packed with the likes of Surprise Ralani, Ayanda Patosi and Lyle Lakay.

He has long been earmarked as a prodigious talent, having been asked to train with Bafana last June after making just a handful of appearances in the PSL.

He played eight times for Platinum Stars before making the move to Egypt in January, a transfer that was a surprise to many given his lack of first team experience.

But he made an immediate impact, and shone during his brief stay in North Africa.

That led to a call-up to the senior national side for the COSAFA Cup this year and after not being selected for the quarterfinal against Madagascar, started the wins over Namibia (4-1) and Botswana (3-0).