JOHANNESBURG - Doctor Khumalo will return to Kaizer Chiefs if their attempt to lure Bafana Bafana coach, Stuart Baxter, back to Naturena succeeds. Talks between the South African Football Association (Safa) and Amakhosi regarding the release of the British coach from his contract are on-going.
Chiefs are desperate to appoint a new coach as the start of the new season edges closer. They missed out on the likes of Avram Grant, Patrice Carteron and Luc Eymael, who is set to stay with Free State Stars.
Carteron opted to join Egyptian giants Al Ahly, and Grant is on his way to Panathinaikos in Greece. The club cut ties with the embattled Steve Komphela following three seasons that yielded no silverware. Independent Media has learbed that Baxter will appoint Khumalo as his second in charge if the deal is sealed.
“It is an open secret that Chiefs are interested in Baxter. The coach is more than happy to rejoin Chiefs. He is unhappy with a number of things at Safa but the problem is that he is still contracted. Baxter will appoint Doctor if the move does materialise. Doctor has been informed,” a source explained.
Baxter worked well with Khumalo when he was in charge of Amakhosi. The duo delivered four trophies in three seasons for Chiefs during their tenure. Khumalo attended the Siyabonga Sangweni Football Tournament this past weekend in Dondotha, Empangeni in KwaZulu-Natal.
When he was asked about his future, the former Bafana Bafana midfield maestro chose to remain mum. “I don’t want to talk about my future. I can talk about other things but not my future,” Khumalo said as he refused to answer questions about the murmurs linking him with a return to Chiefs.
Khumalo parted ways with Baroka FC last week. He served as the technical director at the club. The pre-season for Chiefs is underway and Patrick Mabedi and Arthur Zwane are busy getting the players into shape ahead of the new season which will start on August 2. Chiefs have already acquired the services of players such as Khama Billiat, Letlhogonolo Mirwa and Madagascan international Andriamirado Andrianarimanana.
Meanwhile, Khumalo questioned the desire in the current Bafana squad. “If you're playing for the national team you are a soldier representing the country," he said. "At the moment, from what I saw at the Cosafa Cup, our players don’t understand what it means to wear the Bafana jersey.
"I’m not taking anything away from them but they need to understand that when you are wearing the jersey, you are not representing your friends and family but you are representing the nation. These guys need to understand that when you wear that Bafana jersey you are a soldier,” Khumalo said as he urged players to respect the national team badge.
Bafana recently succumbed to minnows Madagascar in the Cosafa Cup quarter-final. Khumalo was in the Bafana squad that triumphed in the Africa Cup of Nations on home soil in 1996.