With rumours swirling around his next destination, Cambodian national star Chan Vathanaka yesterday moved to dampen down speculation about his future.
The statement comes after Singapore’s Home United, in a post on their official Instagram account, said that would decide between signing Vathanaka and Australian’s Under-23 midfielder Isaka Cernak. They currently occupy fifth place on the league table courtesy of four wins, two draws and four losses.
“Over the last few days, I have seen a lot of rumours about my future, reads the statement on Vathanaka’s official social media page. “Today I want to confirm that I am in Phnom Penh and do not have intentions to go to a training camp or agreed anything with any club. Do not be misled.
I can tell briefly that I am negotiating with a foreign club but not a club that some brothers are saying. I will officially announce on my Facebook page when negotiations reach 100%. Thank you for the love and attention of all of you to me. Good luck and success all.”
His stint at Malaysian Super League club Pahang FA came to an abrupt end last month, a little under five months after making the high profile switch.
Vathanaka found himself expendable with club coach Dollah Salleh choosing to replace him with Issey Nakajima.
Vathanaka’s place in coach Salleh’s squad had been precarious since the signing of Patrick dos Santos Cruz, a Brazilian forward who notched nine goals in just 10 appearances. In his nine outings for the Malaysians, Vathanaka had registered a single strike.
Salleh often expressed his frustration with Vathanaka, saying he felt 24-year-old forward was not showing any significant improvement and playing below expectations.
Known affectionately to the kingdom’s football fans as CV11, Vathanaka has been a revelation since emerging on the books of Metfone C-League club Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng FC in 2011.
After being coaxed into making the switch to rivals Boeung Ket, and undergoing an intensive change in diet and training, he soon progressed into a fearsome goal machine.
He hit 35 league goals and a total of 60 across all competitions for club and country in 2015 and finished the year as highest goalscorer of any Southeast Asian nation.
He continued his goalscoring exploits in 2016, claiming a hat-trick against CMAC FC in his first start, going on to plunder 22 league goals as Boeung Ket beat Ministry of Defense FC to claim only their second league title.
His 2017 however was an altogether disappointing affair, as he found himself relegated to benchwarmer at Japanese J3-league club Fujieda MYFC. He ended his time in Japan last November, after a handful of substitute appearances and duly signed on at Pahang a month later.