JDT look to add Spanish midfielder after Ghaddar swoop

  • Football
  • Wednesday, 17 May 2017

JOHOR BARU: Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) are not done yet with their mid-season transfer dealings.

Having snapped up Lebanese striker Mohammed Ghaddar from Kelantan, three-time Super League champions JDT are looking at signing a player from Spain.

“The club will sign a midfielder from Spain during this transfer window and I will reveal who this new player is soon,” JDT owner Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim (pic) said in a posting on the Southern Tigers’ Facebook page yesterday.

The mid-season transfer window opened on Monday and will close on June 11.

JDT know that if they were to sign another foreign player, then they will have to axe one from the current squad.

M-League teams are only allowed to sign four imports and one of them must be an Asian.

As things stand, JDT are expected to offload Argentine striker Brian Ferreira, who holds an Iraqi passport, to accommodate Ghaddar.

The three other imports in the team are Brazilian centreback Marcos Antonio, who has been a rock in the JDT defence since joining them in 2014, and fan favourites Gabriel Guerra (forward) and Gonzalo Cabrera (midfielder), both from Argentina.

Tunku Ismail also denied reports that they had paid Kelantan RM5mil for Ghaddar.

“I will not put JDT in a situation where people can take advantage of us. I know how much we paid to get him and I believe it was a reasonable fee because Ghaddar is the league’s top scorer,” he said, adding that Ghaddar was an “astute buy”.

Kelantan FA vice-president Datuk Muhammad Nasir Hamzah was quoted by Bernama as saying that “the decision to sell Ghaddar was not due to KAFA’s financial situation”.

“I cannot reveal the actual amount involved in the transfer because KAFA and JDT have agreed to keep it under wraps. What I can say is that it is the highest in the country,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tunku Ismail also posted his views on Football Association of Malaysia’s (FAM) hiring of Portuguese Eduardo Vingada as the new national team coach.

“FAM have been sleeping for too long and, at the moment, Malaysia is not a footballing country as the previous administration had done nothing right,” said Tunku Ismail, who is also the new FAM president.

“Vingada has years of experience and an impressive resume ... he will be able to educate not only the national team and the players but, more importantly, the local coaches ... which is the reason why we’ve hired him.”

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