Leaders of Ho Chi Minh City FC have announced their plan to finalize a labor contract with former French national team player Paul-Georges Ntep next week for the 2023-24 V. League 1 season.
The length of the contract has not yet been specified, according to L’Équipe daily newspaper.
Paul-Georges Ntep has been a free agent since the end of his contract in 2022 with Boavista, a professional football club based in Porto, Portugal.
Ntep was born in Cameroon in 1992 and began his football career in France.
He represented France U18s to U21s before making his debut for the French national team in 2015.
The 31-year-old striker has had stints with several renowned French clubs, including Auxerre, Rennes, Saint-Étienne, and Guingamp.
In 2018, Ntep switched to playing for the Cameroon national team, where he participated in four matches and netted one goal.
Though his transfer fee reached a staggering 10 million euros (US$10.7 million) in 2015, his market value has since dropped to about €250,000 ($268,300).
Now, with his prime playing years arguably in the past, Ntep’s move to Ho Chi Minh City FC has garnered attention from the French media.
Last season, Ho Chi Minh City FC came close to relegation from the top-tier V. League 1, securing just a one-point lead over relegated side SHB Da Nang.
As the season ended, the Ho Chi Minh City-based club bid farewell to Victor Mansaray and Daniel Green in a bid to acquire more proficient foreign attackers.
The planned arrival of Ntep has thus generated significant anticipation for the team’s performance during the 2023-24 season, which is set to commence on October 20.
Before Ntep’s expected recruitment, Ho Chi Minh City FC had enlisted the services of overseas Vietnamese midfielder Pierre Lamothe, whose father is Canadian and mother is Vietnamese.
However, 26-year-old Lamothe is set to be placed on loan in the near future.
For the 2023-24 season, the team will bring in overseas Vietnamese goalkeeper Patrick Le Giang from Hanoi-based Cong An Hanoi FC, under a rule that allows each club to register only one overseas Vietnamese player.