Vietnam star defender, Dutch club discuss contract renewal

By Hoang Nguyen, Lam ThoaMay 11, 2020 | 04:00 pm PT
Vietnam star defender, Dutch club discuss contract renewal
Doan Van Hau may stay at SC Heerenveen for another season. Photo courtesy of SC Heerenveen.
Hanoi FC and Dutch club SC Heerenveen are in talks over a contract extension for Doan Van Hau, featuring new conditions but the same income.

Hau and Heerenveen made headlines recently over the 21-year-old left-back’s future at the club. Following rumors, it was confirmed Heerenveen wanted Hau to stay on for another year on loan from Hanoi FC. The Dutch club, playing in the Netherland’s top league Eredivisie, sent an offer to negotiate with Hanoi. Hau’s current contract with Heerenveen will expire on June 30, 2020.

In the new offer, Heerenveen wants a deduction in the loan fee, due to its tricky financial situation during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, Hau will retain the same salary at €450,000 ($486,400) a year.

According to Royal Netherlands Football Association law, clubs have to pay players from outside Europe and those from European Economic Area (EEA) an annual minimum wage of €450,000. This will help improve the quality of foreign players arriving here and at the same time create more space for young players in the Netherlands to develop.

Since Hau’s salary is currently at the minimum, Heerenveen cannot reduce it further. They can only negotiate a decrease of €200,000 in loan fees as well as the buyout clause of €1 million.

Next week, Hanoi and Heerenveen will have an online meeting to discuss the loan fee in further detail. The V. League 1, 2019 champions are facing challenges as key defenders like Tran Dinh Trong and Do Duy Manh continue to struggle with injuries. However, the capital club is willing to let Hau stay in the Netherlands to access greater opportunities and develop his game.

"It’s not easy to play football in Europe, so I wish to stay on and look for more chances. During my time here, I have improved my skills, language and nutrition to adapt to the club’s environment," Hau has told VnExpress.

Hau has only played four minutes for the main team during the Dutch National Cup. After arriving in the country on loan from Hanoi FC last year, he has spent his time appearing mainly for the club’s youth team, Jong Heerenveen, contributing to some of their victories.

Last month, Heerenveen’s official fan site Fean Online conducted a poll, showing nearly 80 percent of the club’s fans didn’t want it to extend Hau’s contract, with only 12.4 percent calling for him to remain.

However, Heerenveen highly rates Hau’s potential and versatility to play at both left-back and centre-back. In addition, Heerenveen will end their contract with four defenders by the end of this season, leaving them only four defenders in the squad, including Hau.

Last month, Eredivisie was forced to suspend fixtures without a champion, relegation or promotion because of Covid-19.

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