Khov Chhay, manager of Metfone C-League club Ministry of National Defence FC, said yesterday that Thailand’s Chonburi FC was just one of many clubs chasing star midfielder Cherng Polroth.
“There has been speculation since the 2017 SEA Games in Malaysia, said Mr Chhay, whose club sits fourth in Cambodia’s top division and is in line for a playoff place.
“We saw news from the Thai side yesterday saying they are hoping that they can sign up some Cambodians ahead of their season.
“But truthfully, there in Singapore, they and others approached us for Polroth. In the end though, he didn’t move.”
His remarks come after Chonburi of the Thailand Premier League expressed interest in signing the young midfielder ahead of its 2018 Premier League campaign.
According to Thsports, Chonburi technical director Withaya Laohakul revealed that he had approached Polroth during Kuala Lumpur’s SEA Games in August with a move failing to materialise at the time.
Chonburi are thought to be pursuing Polroth, 20, after failing to sign Indonesian youngster Evan Dimas, as reported by Thai media.
While Mr Chhay admitted meeting with officials from the Thai Premier League 1 side, he added however that the Army side would prefer to keep the strong midfielder.
“The team does not intend to let any player leave. Instead, it is pushing them to learn something new and to help Cambodia in the future,” he said.
Known for his powerful shooting, Polroth is among the best young talents in the kingdom. When called upon he has often proven his many talents in the national team jersey and scoring vital goals.
He scored a long-range effort against old foes Vietnam during the 2016 AFF Suzuki cup group stage, which was later voted as the best goal of the tournament.
However, in recent months, he was sidelined from the national team by the now deposed Cambodia coach Leonardo Vitorino for unspecified disciplinary reasons. He was swiftly reinstated by new coach Prak Sovannara who took over earlier late last month.