Spurs have agreed transfer terms for South Africa centre-back Mbulelo Mabizela and are now waiting for his work permit application to be approved.
Mabizela is an experienced South African international
The club are confident the application for the 22-year-old is a formality as Mabizela is now regarded as the natural successor to Leeds' Lucas
Radebe as captain of the South Africa international team.
Mabizela inspired Pirates to a 2-1 win over Tottenham when the London club made a short tour of South Africa last month, beating Kaizer Chiefs 2-0 in another match.
The 22-year-old Mabizela has been capped 12 times by his country and has also won the South African Players' Player of the Year award.
Meanwhile scans have revealed that midfielder Gus Poyet has fractured a wrist and will be out for up to six weeks.
The 35-year-old Uruguayan, who is suspended for the opening three games of the new season after a red card in the final game of last term, was injured in last Sunday's goalless friendly against Sporting Lisbon at White Hart Lane.
Spurs are also set to start the season without German wing-back Christian Ziege following a recurrence of a thigh injury which last season threatened his career.
"It is very disappointing because after six months out I'm now going to be out for another long spell," said Ziege.
Freddie Kanoute is already ruled out of Saturday's, while defenders Dean Richards (Achilles), Ledley King (back) and midfielder Darren
Anderton (hamstring) are all highly doubtful.