With three centre-backs injured and question marks remaining over the fitness of William Gallas and Younes Kaboul, Tottenham have moved to sign South African defender Bongani Khumalo.
The SuperSport United captain will join Spurs for £1.5m when the transfer window opens in January, subject to a work permit being granted, after both clubs reached a pre-contract agreement.
The 23-year-old has been tracked by Tottenham since impressing for his country when they hosted the World Cup, and he impressed manager Harry Redknapp during a trial last month.
"It will be a great chance for the kid," Redknapp said after last month's trial. "He's a great lad. He comes from a poor background and he's desperate for a chance and we're going to give him [it]."
Khumalo played in all three of South Africa's World Cup games, and scored the opener in the 2-1 victory over France.