Mamelodi Sundowns' reported R18-million move for Hassania Agadir striker Karim El Berkaoui has broken down.
El Berkaoui, 24, has emerged as one of the most coveted talents in Morroco after an incredible 2019/20 campaign thus far which sees him leading the scoring charts in the CAF Confederation Cup with eight goals in 11 games.
His performances have led the Botola outfit into the semi-finals of the continental club competition which attracted the attention of Pitso Mosimane's side and prompted them to launch a bid in the region of $1-million (R18m).
However, Benjamin Hajji, a well-respected Moroccan football analyst who first broke the story of Sundowns' initial move has confirmed that their interest has been cooled down after being rebuffed in their opening bid.
"Hassania ideally want to send him to Europe and for more money and Karim is reluctant to go there [to South Africa]," Hajji tells KickOff.com.
With no Morrocan ever plying their trade in the South African top-flight, the term foreign territory would take a different meaning if El Berkaoui were to be lured to Masandawana and Hajji admits it's a risk the player is not willing to take.
"A country so far away, a language he doesn't speak, no fellow countrymen playing or living there, completely different culture, it's just too many red lights for him to jump on it," he explained.
"It's more down to his personal well-being and how moving to South Africa might do more harm than good, considering he has other offers."
El Berkaoui who has also attracted the interest of Zamalek and Al Ahly scored a total of 16 goals in 28 games in all competitions before the coronavirus enforced suspension of football.