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Tottenham agree deal for Khumalo
Published : 26 Oct 2010 10:22:00
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has agreed a deal to sign Bongani Khumalo from SuperSport United in January, subject to a work permit. The north London club have boosted their injury-ravaged defence for the second half of the season after announcing the signing of South Africa defender Khumalo. The SuperSport United skipper will join Spurs when the transfer window opens in early 2011, subject to a work permit being granted, after both clubs reached a pre-contract agreement. Tracked by Tottenham since impressing for his country when they hosted this summer's World Cup, Khumalo won over manager Harry Redknapp during a trial last month. The 23-year-old's arrival cannot come quickly enough for a Spurs side who have only once this season been able to field the same defensive partnership in consecutive games. Injuries have twice left them with only one recognised centre-half, forcing Redknapp to field players out of position. Captain Ledley King's inability to train due to his notoriously fragile knees has seen him repeatedly aggravate a groin problem, Michael Dawson has been sidelined for almost two months with ligament damage, William Gallas and Younes Kaboul have each just returned from a month out injured, while Jonathan Woodgate is simply battling to save his career. So while the reported £1.5million fee for Khumalo may have been spent on a player for the future, he could yet find himself called upon more than once between January and May. Speaking after Khumalo's trial last month, Redknapp said: "He's not expensive. We had him over on trial and we like him. "It will be a great chance for the kid. He's a great lad. "He comes from a poor background and he's desperate for a chance and we're going to give him a chance." Khumalo played in all three of South Africa's World Cup games, scoring in the 2-1 victory over France. Rumours linking him with Spurs began shortly after the tournament, with the defender saying at the time: "I have always wanted to play in England and obviously in the Premier League and it would be a dream to move to Tottenham. "Playing in the Champions League would be another dream. "I think the Champions League is the closest level to the World Cup in terms of quality and the play, so it would be great to make the move." Spurs took advantage of the long-term partnership established with SuperSport three years ago to bring Khumalo to White Hart Lane. The South African club's chairman Khulu Sibiya today paid tribute to the defender, who will leave having helped them win a hat-trick of ABSA Premiership League titles during three and a half seasons there. "Bongani has been an exceptional player for SuperSport United," Sibiya told the club's official website, www.sufc.co.za. "His three and a half years at the club has seen him develop into one of the best footballers in the country and his contribution was a major factor in the club winning three consecutive ABSA Premiership League titles. "Everyone at the club wishes him well in his future career at Tottenham Hotspur. "We are equally proud of the fact that Bongani is joining our partners, Tottenham Hotspur, with whom we have enjoyed a fantastic and fruitful relationship since 2007 and we are convinced that this relationship will continue to grow from strength to strength in the years to come." One of Khumalo's new team-mates will be Alan Hutton, who is enjoying something of a renaissance at White Hart Lane following his own injury woes. The Scotland right-back has started the last seven games for club and country so has welcomed the lack of a midweek fixture ahead of Saturday's Barclays Premier League trip to Manchester United and next Tuesday's Champions League return against Inter Milan. "It's brilliant to have a clear week now so that we can take it easy and make sure we get the rest in before another tough week ahead," Hutton told Spurs' website, tottenhamhotspur.com.