European clubs join race to sign Vietnamese national goalkeeper

By Lam Thoa   January 9, 2021 | 03:30 am PT
Russian top-flight club FC Dynamo Moscow and Portuguese side Sporting Braga are pursuing Dang Van Lam despite his agreement with Japanese side Cerezo Osaka.
Goalkeeper Dang Van Lam in the national team jersey. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa.

Goalkeeper Dang Van Lam in the national team jersey. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa.

Dynamo Moscow sent an offer to Lam’s agent, Andrey Grushin, on Friday. The 27-year-old goalkeeper, who has a Vietnamese father and Russian mother, showed great interest in Dynamo's offer.

"Dang Van Lam has always wanted to play in Europe, so we will consider this offer carefully," Grushin said.

After Dynamo's offer, Braga, a club in Portugal’s top tier league Primeira Liga, also sent him an offer.

"Van Lam hasn't decided on his future at the moment. He needs time to think, because this is an important step for his future. J1 League, Russian Premier League and Primeira Liga are all big competitions. We hope we can make Vietnamese fans proud, as it's the first time a Vietnamese player has received offers from such big clubs," the agent said.

Previously, Lam had paid a compensation fee for the rest of his contract with Muangthong United (until May 2022) after receiving an offer from J1 League club Cerezo Osaka.

A personal agreement between Lam and Osaka has since been reached. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Lam hasn’t been able to fly to Japan and sign the contract. Therefore, he can still negotiate and listen to offers from other clubs.

If Lam decides to join Osaka, he would be the fourth Vietnamese to play for a Japanese club, after Le Cong Vinh (Consadole Sapporo), Nguyen Tuan Anh (Yokohama FC) and Nguyen Cong Phuong (Mito Hollyhock). He will also be the first to play in J1 League, with the other three only competing in J2 League.

Dynamo Moscow is one of the big Russian clubs, established in 1923. They have never won the Russian Premier League, but scooped the National Cup during the 1994-1995 season. The club is in sixth position this season with 30 points after 30 fixtures, 11 points away from the first spot.

In Primeira Liga last season, Braga peaked third and qualified for Europa League’s group stage this season. After the group stage, they peaked at second and advanced to round of 16, playing Roma in February.

Lam used to spend his youth at Dynamo Moscow but couldn’t get into the senior squad. After that, he returned to Vietnam twice to seek opportunities. In 2011, he joined Hoang Anh Gia Lai but failed to impress. Four years later, Lam joined Hai Phong FC and his career started to take off. He was called up to the Vietnam national football team by coach Park Hang-seo and became the number one goalkeeper in the team, contributing greatly to the Golden Dragons’ AFF Cup 2018 title.

In June 2019, Muangthong United bought Lam from Hai Phong for $500,000. Since then, he has had 42 appearances for the club over two seasons.

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