THAILAND’S Chanathip Songkrasin is likely to join J-League newcomers Consadole Sapporo. Speculation over the national midfielder’s potential move has been fuelled by the Japanese club’s decision to part ways with Indonesia’s Irfan Bachdim.
The 28-year-old Indonesian midfielder, who has played two seasons with the Hokkaido Island club, posted a picture of himself and his Sapporo team-mates applauding the fans on his Instagram account with a farewell caption yesterday. “BYE BYE SAPPORO ! After 2 great seasons with Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo my time has come to an end. I wanna thank the club and supporters for a great time and unforgettable season which we end as CHAMPIONS.
“I enjoyed my time at the club and improved a lot as a player. I wish everyone all the best for next season at the J1,” Bachdim wrote.
Japanese media believe that the Indonesian’s departure cleared the decks for the 23-year-old Chanathip, who made a big splash in his debut campaign at Muangthong by helping them win the Thai League title last month, their fourth top-flight crown overall, to join the Sapporo-based club.
The Thai player himself admitted his interest in realising his childhood dream of playing abroad after being heavily linked by local media with a move to the Consadole club just before he began his national duty at the ongoing Asean Championship earlier this month.
Chanathip, dubbed “Messi Jay” for having similar body frame and good dribbling skills to Barcelona star Lionel Messi, is currently training with the national team for the two-leg semi-final against Myanmar in the biennial tournament.
Four-time champions Thailand, who completed the group stage with a perfect record, will first visit Myanmar on November 4 before hosting the return leg four days later at Rajamangala National Stadium.