Orlando Pirates are on the verge of concluding a deal with AmaZulu for the transfer of key defender Tapelo Xoki – and if all the finer details are ironed out the player will join the Buccaneers next season, SABC Sport understands.
It’s a clear indication that plans are in motion in the DStv Premiership as clubs begin to prepare for the upcoming registration period, which effectively opens on July 1.
Xoki, 27, has enjoyed a purple patch for Usuthu and has been consistent over the last two seasons…managing a few goals too, albeit most of them being from the penalty spot, when Benni McCarthy was still the head coach and AmaZulu finished an impressive second place during the 2020/21 campaign.
McCarthy was sacked in March.
According to those privy to information regarding the imminent deal, Xoki still had at least three years on his Usuthu contract.
This suggests then that Pirates would have to either pay a transfer fee or offer one or two players in exchanges to sweeten the talks, but SABC Sport also understands that both parties have, however, agreed a transfer in principle.
If the move goes ahead, as expected, Xoki will be added to an experienced line up of centre backs in captain Happy Jele, Olisa Ndah, Ntsikelelo Nyauza and Thulani Hlatshwayo, who has been out of favour over the last few months.
And perhaps by the time he joins they will be the reigning CAF Confederation Cup champions – the Buccaneers take on Morocco’s RS Berkane in the final of the interclub tournament on Friday at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo, Nigeria.
Contacted for comment on the pending move of one of the club’s stand-out players in Xoki, who has been at AmaZulu since 2014, chairman Sandile Zungu refused to give details or make any remarks regarding the latest developments
By Mazola Molefe