Khutlang joins Lioli
..Tse Nala also sign the Likhopo duo of goalkeeper Kananelo Makhooane and midfielder Thuso Shuping
National team midfielder Tumelo Khutlang has joined reigning Vodacom Premier League champions Lioli from Sundawana.
The 20-year-old signed a three-year contract with Tse Nala after his one-year deal with Sundawana ended on Friday.
Lioli president Lebohang Thotanyana yesterday confirmed Khutlang’s capture, ending speculation on the future of the gifted midfielder who joined Sundawana at the start of the 2014/15 season from fellow premiership side Likhopo.
Thotanyana told the Sunday Express: “It is true that Tumelo has signed with Lioli for a period of three years. He already had a pre-contract with us; we were just waiting for his contract with Sundawana to end.”
Khutlang was a member of the national team, Likuena, which fared so poorly at the regional 2015 COSAFA tournament in May in Rustenburg, South Africa. The midfielder was to make the wrong headlines when he was dropped, for disciplinary reasons, from the team that played Botswana in the second leg of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier away to Botswana in June this year.
Voted Vodacom Premier League young-player-of-the-season for two consecutive campaigns— 2012/13 and 2013/14 while still with Likhopo— Khutlang is one of Lesotho’s rising stars and could be destined for a great football career if he keeps his feet on the ground and does not let fame get to his head.
Meanwhile, Thotanyana also confirmed the signing of the Likhopo duo of goalkeeper Kananelo Makhooane and midfielder Thuso Shuping to conclude Lioli’s shopping for the 2015/16 season which gets underway later this month.
“We have boosted our squad with Kananelo and Thuso from Likhopo and I think we now have all the players we were hoping to sign for the new season. Bushy Moletsane, Mafa Moremoholo, Tšoanelo Koetle and Liteboho Mokhehle have also extended their contracts with us by three more years,” said Thotanyana.
Sundawana general manager, Mapena Tloaelo, confirmed Khutlang’s departure, while also revealing the Butha-Buthe club had taken steps to ensure he is replaced.
“We tried to convince him to stay with us but he made it clear that he was not interested anymore; his actions said enough and we had no choice but to let him go since his contract has expired.
“He had signed a one-season contract and in March, I tried to talk to him about the possibility of extending it but he was not forthcoming.
“After he was dropped from Likuena, I called him and asked him to go to Butha-Buthe where the team was in camp but he never showed up.”
While Tloaelo admits Khutlang is a good player, he however, believes Sundawana would survive without him.
“He is such a good player and any team would like to have him but I don’t think we will miss him that much because we have been on a shopping spree so we have enough cover.”
Meanwhile, Tloaelo revealed Sundawana are in talks with Lioli for the services of defender Mkhonazi Mkhonazi, while the team had also signed three new players from Ghana.
“Negotiations are still in progress with Lioli for Mkhonazi, and I am confident a deal will be struck soon. We also have three players from Ghana, so we are leaving no stone unturned as we prepare to mount a serious challenge for honours in the new season.”
The other player who is likely to change his team this transfer window is hard-tackling LCS midfielder Thato Moabi, who is being tracked by Likhopo.
LCS communications and marketing manager, Kofa Rantai, confirmed Likhopo’s interest in the player.
“Likhopo have approached us for Moabi; we have received their letter and we will be meeting soon to see if we will agree on his transfer,” Rantai said.
The Sunday Express could not immediately get a comment from Likhopo.