Vietnamese star midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai left for France on Monday morning after L’Équipe reported that he is on the verge of signing for Ligue 2 outfit Pau FC.
Dubbed the 'Vietnamese Messi,' Quang Hai is expected to undergo a medical check-up upon his arrival in France ahead of signing an initial two-year contract, with the option to extend for a further third year, according to the L’Équipe’s report on Sunday.
If the deal is concluded, he will become the first Vietnamese footballer to be contracted to a French professional club.
Pau FC’s decision to sign Hai is two-fold -- scouts believe in the player’s potential but the deal is also considered to be a marketing coup as he has 800,000 Instagram followers and 2.5 million fans on Faceboo, the French sport newspaper commented.
The move is expected to attract major attention to Pau from Southeast Asia, it added.
|Vietnamese star midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai is pictured ahead of his departure for France at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, June 27, 2022. Photo: Huu Tan / Tuoi Tre|
For his part, Hai is seeking to use Pau as a stepping stone into a club in Europe’s top five leagues, L’Équipe anticipated.
The 25-year-old attacking midfielder, who left Vietnam for France on Monday morning, became a free agent after bidding farewell to Hanoi FC in March.
Hai started his career 16 years ago and has spent his entire journey at Hanoi FC, from the youth to senior team.
He is among Vietnam’s current crop of young players widely regarded as a golden generation.
However, none of this generation have been able to make waves abroad yet.
|Vietnamese star midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai (R) is pictured ahead of his departure for France at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, June 27, 2022. Photo: Huu Tan / Tuoi Tre|
Rumor has it that several French club expressed their interest in Hai, including Nantes FC, which play in Ligue 1, the top division of football in France, and the seven clubs Paris FC, Metz, Pau FC, SC Bastia, Rodez AF, Nimes, and Grenoble competing in the Ligue 2.
Hai’s side revealed last week that the midfielder signed a preliminary contract with a French club, whose name they would like to keep undisclosed to ease the pressure on him, as well as to comply with the agreement between the two parties.
He returned to Vietnam on June 14 to apply for a work visa and completed it on June 23.