Vietnam's star midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai set to join Japanese club

By VNA   May 25, 2024 | 06:18 pm PT
Vietnamese midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai is likely to sign a contract to join a team in Japan's J1 League.

Sources said that Hai will reach an agreement with Consadole Sapporo Club. If nothing changes, the contract between the two parties is expected to be announced in June. This will be the second time Hai has played abroad, as he had previously played for Pau FC in Ligue 2 in France.

Nguyen Quang Hai takes a shot in Vietnams friendly match with Syria on June 20, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa

Nguyen Quang Hai takes a shot in Vietnam's friendly match with Syria on June 20, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa

According to Bongdaplus, the president of Japanese professional tournaments, Yoshikazu Nonomura, has supported the Vietnamese player's move to the J1 League. Previously, as President of Consadole Sapporo Club in 2013, Nonomura was also the man who promoted the deal to recruit former national striker Le Cong Vinh to the same club.

The move to a J1 League team shows Hai's determination to develop his career. However, this can also make him unavailable for the ASEAN Cup 2024 – a key tournament that is very important for the Vietnamese team.

The timing of the ASEAN Cup is completely outside the official FIFA schedule so clubs are not required to release players for their national teams. The AFF Cup is expected to take place from Nov. 23 to Dec. 21, while the J1 League season 2024 will end in early December. Consadole Sapporo is currently in a difficult situation and struggling to avoid relegation. It is very unlikely for this team to accept the absence of players during the decisive stage of the season.

In the most likely scenario, Hai will play the full season with Consadole Sapporo and rejoin the Vietnamese team in early December, missing most of the group stages. However, coach Kim Sang-sik of the Vietnamese national team will have to leave an empty position on the registration list to 'reserve' the midfielder for later games.

Not only the Vietnamese team, but many other teams in the region have similar difficulties. Thailand have attended the tournament many times without their key player Chanathip Songkrasin in their squad. Indonesia will also be without their naturalised players.

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