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Steve Barker hints at big transfer fee for Sundowns target Jayden Adams 

Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker has hinted at a big transfer fee for Mamelodi Sundowns target Jayden Adams. 

The 23-year-old midfielder has been the subject of intense transfer speculation, with the DStv Premiership champions, Sundowns, reportedly interested in him.

Adams’ stock has been on the rise since his return from a triumphant AFCON campaign with Bafana Bafana, in which they secured a third-place finish.

With a strong showing in the 2023/24 season and the campaign nearing its end, Masandawana is anticipated to try and acquire the Winelands club’s top talent to bolster their roster for the upcoming season. Adams has scored three goals and provided eight assists in 34 games across all competitions.

Barker has stressed that acquiring their top players will be complex, as their value has increased significantly. He highlighted the case of Adams, a highly sought-after talent, implying that interested parties will need to make substantial offers to secure his services.

As impressive Stellies continues its ascent in the domestic football scene, Barker is convinced that the club’s success directly impacts their players’ market value. 

Steve Barker, head coach of Stellenbosch FC
Steve Barker/Stellenbosch FC


“As a club, the more you achieve – winning trophies, securing top positions, and having players represent Bafana Bafana – their worth naturally increases,” Barker stated.

This heightened value means clubs interested in acquiring Stellenbosch players will face a stricter negotiation process. “It won’t be as easy as it was in the past,” he warned. 

“We have players sitting on the bench at Sundowns who cost R40 million. Why should Jayden Adams be valued any less, maybe even more?”

Barker clarified that any club will have to “dig deep” financially to secure the services of their stars like Adams.

The 56-year-old tactician added that despite considerable local interest, a player of Adams’ calibre who harbours European aspirations should focus on opportunities abroad.

“Jayden has ambitions to play in Europe,” Barker stated. “At his age, a move to Europe would be more beneficial for his career. I’d advise him to prioritise that over local options.”

The veteran mentor also cautioned against a potential move to Sundowns, highlighting the risk of limited playing time. “You don’t want him going to Sundowns and only getting 13 or 14 league matches a season.”

Jayden Adams of Stellenbosch FC
Jayden Adams/Stellenbosch FC

He further explained that Stellenbosch’s recent successes have raised the bar for potential transfers. “Our players’ stock is higher now. We weren’t playing in Africa before or challenging for trophies. Now that we’ve won a trophy and are competing in Africa, it’s not as simple for other teams to just pick and choose our players.”


Barker expressed confidence in maintaining his squad’s core. He added that no discussions or offers are currently on the table for any of their players.

Stellenbosch has already secured a historic achievement by qualifying for the CAF Interclub competition for the first time. They can elevate this accomplishment even further by securing maximum points in their final match against Richards Bay. Should they win, they are assured of a second-place finish, guaranteeing them qualification for the prestigious CAF Champions League. This would follow their recent success in the Carling Black Label Cup.

RELATED STORY: Mokwena addresses Jayden Adams’ transfer rumours to Sundowns

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