Football Tribe SEA Editor
Bangkok United Coach Mano Pölking has confirmed that the side has extended the contract of Japan international Hajime Hosogai, and answered crucial questions on the future of El Salvadorian attacking maverick Nelson Bonilla.
Thai League leaders Bangkok United have been quick to settle the contract situation of most of their squad and staff, extending deals to match the revised September 2020 – May 2021 schedule.
“We have already extended all of the contracts. We tried to work as well as we could, and this was the first thing we discussed,” Bangkok United head coach Mano Pölking explained. “We knew the players that had their contracts finishing, and that it would be fair enough at least to extend it for six months to give them the chance to play the whole season.”
One of the most notable players of the Angels’ squad is Japan international Hajime Hosogai, who is currently on a loan deal from Buriram United which is set to expire in November. However, Mano also confirmed that the side were able to negotiate extended terms with the midfielder.
“The loan deal between Buriram and Hosogai [is set to finish], and it means that Hosogai was then a free player,” Mano explained. “So, we just signed him.”
This move ensures that the former Bundesliga star will be present in Bangkok United’s squad for the entirety of the upcoming season, and allow him to play against former club Buriram in the second half of the campaign.
Meanwhile, Mano added to the speculation of Nelson Bonilla’s future at the club. Currently contracted at Bangkok United, the El Salvador international returned home after being de-registered from the foreign player quota due to injury and was subsequently replaced by Brazilian forward Brenner Marlos.
“Bonilla’s contract is the one that is finishing now, compared to the other guys, so that has made the difference” Mano admitted of the recent transfer news linking him with a move with various other Thai League sides. “It is not easy to keep one [extra] foreign player, especially one at that good level,” he added.
While the league leaders are yet to accept any of the various offers they have received for Bonilla, it seems that the final decision remains in the striker’s hands. “If he can come back, [he] can join the team,” Mano said, but admitted that “maybe he wants to go straight to another club.”
After scoring 16 goals in just 20 appearances for Bangkok United last season, it is no surprise that the striker is considered a hot property in Thailand. Should he be able to return, after restrictions on international travel loosen, Bonilla’s transfer saga could be one of the most exciting of the transfer window.