Bongani Khumalo is set to play Champions League football next season – for Scottish champions Rangers.
The BBC accounced today that South African central defender Khumalo, 24, signed from SuperSports United by Spurs for £1.5m last January, could go to Ibrox on loan.
Khumalo played six games on loan for relegated Championship club Preston North End before injuring a metatarsal last season – and has yet to play a game for Spurs, despite three appearances on the bench before he was shipped off to Preston.
As Spurs started pre-season training yesterday before the Vodacom Challenge trip to South Africa next week, Khumalo and 21-year-old midfielder Jake Livermore both found themselves being offered to Rangers after talks between boss Harry Redknapp and Rangers owner Craig Whyte.
Rangers’ veteran manager Walter Smith retired after his side’s title triumph over arch-rivals Celtic last season and has been replaced by charismatic former Ibrox striker Ally McCoist.
But a week after the World Cup ended last season, six months before Khumalo’s move to Spurs, Smith was quoted as saying he was keen on bringing both Khumalo and Bafana Bafana striker Katlego “Killer” Mphela to Glasgow.
Spurs boss Reknapp, whose side narrowly failed to qualify for the Champions League last season, said yesterday: "I met with Craig Whyte, the Rangers chairman. They are looking for some loans and I mentioned a couple if they were interested.
"We have Jake Livermore and Bongani Khumalo, he scored against France at the World Cup. He needs to get some experience but he’ll do well I’m sure."
Despite the Rangers talks, Khumalo and compatriot Steven Pienaar are expected to fly to South Africa with the Spurs squad for the Vodacom challenge clashes against Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, kicking off on July 16.
Vodacom Challenge fixtures
aturday, Jul 16 2011
15:00 - Kaizer Chiefs vs Tottenham Hotspurs
Tuesday, Jul 19 2011
20:15 - Orlando Pirates vs Tottenham Hotspurs
Thursday, Jul 21 2011
20:15 - Kaizer Chiefs vs Orlando Pirates
Saturday, Jul 23 2011
15:00 - Tottenham Hotspurs vs Derby Winner