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Bafana defender Siyanda Xulu weighing his options in Israel

24 January 2022 - 14:25 By NICK SAID
Bafana Bafana centre-back Siyanda Xulu has entered the final six months of his contract at Hapoel Tel Aviv in Israel.
Bafana Bafana centre-back Siyanda Xulu has entered the final six months of his contract at Hapoel Tel Aviv in Israel.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Bafana Bafana defender Siyanda Xulu is discussing a new deal with his Israeli club Hapoel Tel Aviv, but is keeping his options open having entered the final six months of his contract.

Xulu has been a star for Hapoel since he joined the club before the 2020/2021 campaign in his second stint abroad after he previously played for FC Rostov in Russia.

Because of his impressive performances in Israel, Xulu earned a recall to the Bafana squad for the Fifa World Cup qualifiers where he started five of the six games.

He missed the home tie with Zimbabwe during the qualifiers. Bafana failed to make it to the final round of the qualifiers.

It is a further revival in the fortunes of the 30-year-old who endured a difficult two seasons at Kaizer Chiefs before reigniting his career at Maritzburg United and maintaining that form into his stay at Hapoel.

“He is in his last six months. He is probably their best player, plays every game and is a fan favourite. So obviously there is the intention to extend him,” Xulu’s intermediary Paul Mitchell told TimesLIVE.

But Mitchell added that while the player can sign a precontract elsewhere he would look at opportunities if they came along. 

“Talks are ongoing, but obviously at the same time he is open to other projects. We are in a good position,” Mitchell said.  

Xulu burst onto the scene with Mamelodi Sundowns in the 2009/2010 campaign and was a regular until he left for Rostov in 2012.

The club faced huge money issues at the time which soured his stay, but he was there for three seasons before a stint at Naturena where his arrival coincided with that of coach Steve Komphela.

He made 10 starts in two seasons in all competitions, but received a lifeline from Maritzburg who he helped to the Nedbank Cup final in his first season.

He has made 56 appearances in his 18 months at Hapoel, with the club in fourth place in the 14-team Israeli top-flight.

Xulu will be in action on Monday night when his side travel to Beitar Jerusalem where a win will see them climb to third.

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