Has Safuwan signed for PDRM?
PDRM claim they have signed local ace but FAS says talks still ongoing
If all goes well, local football ace Safuwan Baharudin will be policing the midfield for Malaysian Super League side PDRM FA next season.
The Royal Malaysia Police club side confirmed with The New Paper yesterday that they have signed the 24-year-old Singapore international on a one-year loan deal.
PDRM FA secretary general Fuad Abu Zarim said: "We are very happy to secure the signing of Safuwan, one of Singapore's best footballers.
"We were sixth in the Malaysian Super League last season and it was our best top-flight finish.
"We also scored many goals (42, just one fewer than top-scorers Selangor and Pahang), but we can still improve in some areas.
"We lacked a playmaker to support the striker, a utility player to run from box to box and our defence (39 conceded) was among the worst.
"We believe Safuwan fits the bill to help us do better in these areas.
"Most probably, he will be playing in central midfield along with another new import, Brazilian Andrezinho, in support of our Maldives striker Ali Ashfaq."
Safuwan has always maintained his desire to play abroad and confirmed he has had negotiations with PDRM.
The Malaysian side might have boasted securing the services of Safuwan, but the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) did not confirm the deal.
"The FAS can confirm that it has entered preliminary discussions with PDRM FA over the possible transfer of Safuwan Baharudin," said an FAS spokesman.
"An announcement will be made if there are any further developments."
If Safuwan signs for PDRM, he will be the fifth Singaporean after Malek Awab, Ahmad Latiff Khamaruddin, Noh Alam Shah and Agu Casmir to play for the Cops.
Fuad added that Safuwan, who has a year left on his contract with the FAS, was signed on a loan deal so that PDRM FA did not have to pay a transfer fee.
The former LionsXII player, who has 54 caps and five international goals, will also be made available for Singapore's national team preparations whenever necessary.
"We have a long history with Singapore football going back to the semi-pro days when we had Malek in our team, and we have always had a good relationship with Singapore," said Fuad.
"With Safuwan in our team, we hope to be able to achieve our target of winning at least one trophy in the new season."
Safuwan has been one of Singapore's standout players this year, along with goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud who has attracted J.League attention, and midfielder Hariss Harun who won the AFC Cup with Johor Darul Ta'zim.
Almost a year ago, TNP broke the story of Safuwan's A-League trial.
He went on to become the first Singaporean to play in Australia's top flight, scoring two goals from six games during a two-month loan at for Melbourne City.
His versatility has been capitalised on not just by City, who deployed him at centre back, fullback and central midfield positions, but also by the LionsXII and the national team, with the lanky athlete now established as a key cog in the midfield engine room.
He has also enjoyed his most prolific season since turning professional in 2009, scoring 15 goals for club and country.