Bafana’s Xulu still pondering his options after Azerbaijan stint
'It (the season) has been positive for me and I was (also) able to do well for Bafana because of the league I was playing in,' said Xulu.
Siyanda Xulu is mulling over his options as a free agent. Picture: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Nomadic Bafana Bafana defender Siyanda Xulu is mulling proposals ahead of his next move after a season with Azerbaijan club Turan Tovuz.
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Xulu signed a one-year deal with Tovuz after a spell at Israel’s Hapoel Tel Aviv. Formerly with Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Maritzburg United, the 31-year-old has also played his football in Russia for top flight club Rostov.
It is understood that the experienced defender, who made 27 appearances in all competitions for Tovuz to help the club finish sixth in the Azerbaijan league, has attracted interest from clubs in Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
Xulu has also not ruled out the possibility of renewing his contract with current club Tovuz.
“It will be interesting, if I go back there next season because it’s something that I like and the league is very competitive,” said Xulu when addressing the media ahead of Bafana’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Morocco on Saturday at FNB Stadium.
“It (the season) has been positive for me and I was (also) able to do well for Bafana because of the league I was playing in. I only signed for a year because I just wanted to play after my time in Israel.
“I terminated my contract in February (2022) so I wasn’t eligible to sign for another team until July, which was very frustrating for me. I only joined the Azerbaijan league because I just wanted to play and surprisingly, it was a good league and that is why I would like to stay there honestly but there is interest elsewhere so we will see because my contract has expired.
“We’re communicating (with Tovuz) but it’s a matter of what’s good for me as a player.
“I’m enjoying my football in Azerbaijan and I’m sure whoever is trying to keep track of my performances can also agree. We were a new team and we finished sixth and I was one of few players that did well in the second part of the season.
“It’s also from my performances at Bafana because taking your international form to your team really helps. The league itself has teams that participate at (UEFA) Champions League level, (like) Qarabag and Neftci.”