Southeast Asia Thailand

Buriram United Prepare to Bring New Foreign Arrivals into Thailand

Buriram United have finalized their foreign player targets for the upcoming transfer window, and are reportedly ready to send out a private plane to bring their new players to Thailand. 

After releasing all of the players on their 2020 foreign player roster, seven-time champions Buriram United look ready to finally welcome their new signings. While the list of names is yet to be confirmed, speculation is rampant as to the identity of the new arrivals.

As confirmed by the club’s official social media pages, Buriram have sent out a private plane to bring their new recruits, who have received special dispensation to self-quarantine in the Buriram province on arrival. Further reports have also claimed that the side will be picking up two players from Serbia and one from Croatia on their journey.

While the names of the new arrivals are yet to be confirmed, that hasn’t stopped Thai League media outlets from speculating as to their identity.

The first rumored signing, which has been long-standing in the Thai press, is Croatian center-back Renato Kelic. Currently with HNK Cibalia in the Croatian second division, where he first came through as a young player, the defender’s most notable spell with Romanian side CS Cracovia, where he was a regular in their Europa League campaign. Standing at 192cm (6’3″), Kelic will bring an imposing physical presence to the Thunder Castle’s backline.

The second likely recruit from this journey is rumored to be Serbian striker Marko Scepovic, who played most recently for Turkish Super Lig side Caykur Rizespor before departing the club in February, as has first-division experience in Hungary, Greece, and Belgium as well. Scepovic also lists Olympiacos amongst his former clubs, where Buriram boss Bozidar Bandovic spent time as an analyst, assistaant, and even caretaker coach.

Two further names have also been linked with Buriram, despite neither playing their football in Serbia or Croatia currently. Israeli attacking midfielder Gidi Kanyuk is expected to move to Buriram from Hapoel Haifa in his homeland. The 27-year-old playmaker played regularly in Israel’s top flight last season, missing only one game due to suspension, and should be match fit having played regularly through to last month.

Lastly, the side have also reportedly sealed a deal for Uzbekistan midfielder Akbar Ismatullaev, who is also expected to join the side. With Croatia and Serbia the expected locations for Buriram’s journey, it is possible that Ismatullaev’s arrival could be separate from the other three.

For a side that has struggled with foreign player recruitment over the last few seasons, a shift towards the Eastern European/West Asian market could be an insightful move. All four players arrive at Buriram with considerable pedigree, and could revive the side after a slow start to the season.