Xulu's move to Russia finally sealed
SIYANDA Xulu will join Russian side FC Rostov, making him the sixth South Africa player to join the club over the past decade.
The highly rated Mamelodi Sundowns defender's move to the Russian Premier League was confirmed by the Brazilians yesterday after the rigmarole of completing the transfer.
Xulu, 20, makes his way into the long list of Bafana Bafana stars who have earned big money in Russia, among them fellow defenders Matthew Booth and Tony Coyle, as well as Bennett Mnguni, Rowan Hendricks, Stanton Fredericks, MacBeth Sibaya and Japhet Zwane.
Booth, Coyle, Mnguni, Hendricks and Zwane have all played for Rostov.
Despite the deal being done, Sundowns still could not resist blaming Rostov for the difficulties with the transfer, which was only finalised a few hours before the window period slammed shut in the Russian league.
"Speculation had been that it was Sundowns who were holding up the deal, in spite of a statement on the website outlining the efforts Sundowns were making to ensure the deal went through, and the Russians changing the goalposts each time they had to sign the contracts," said a club statement.
The Brazilians were holding out for a R5.8-million offer in cash, while Rostov wanted to pay R4.5-million up front and the rest in instalments.
Downs coach Johan Neeskens had also been involved, saying the proposal from Russia was outside the South Africa club's evaluation of Xulu, who has one Bafana cap.
Sundowns have now wished Xulu well, saying "the move brings to an end months of uncertainty over the future of the young player" who was expected to fly out last night.