image

Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA)

Is Diego Forlan heading for Kitchee? World Cup star could sign for Hong Kong Premier League champions

The 38-year-old former Manchester United forward has been offered a contract to play in the city, but the striker has other options including rejoining childhood club Penarol in Uruguay

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 January, 2018, 6:39pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 January, 2018, 11:59pm

Uruguayan World Cup soccer hero Diego Forlan has been offered a contract with Hong Kong Premier League champions Kitchee, who are anxiously waiting for the former Manchester United star to sign on the dotted line.

According to local reports, Kitchee are working “very hard” to lure the 38-year-old forward to the city and that they will get a clearer picture on whether they are successful in capturing the 2011 Copa America winner’s signature by the end of the week.

A Uruguayan journalist suggested in a Facebook posting that Forlan was on his way to Hong Kong and that the most likely destination was Kitchee, but those remarks have not been confirmed.

Forlan last played in the Indian Super League for Mumbai City in 2016 but has not played for any club for the past year. Regarded as one of Uruguay’s greatest players of all time, Forlan, who also played for Spanish giants Atletico Madrid, is weighing other options and is said to be close to securing a contract with his “childhood” club, Penarol, where he could finish his playing career, according to reports.

Watch: Diego Forlan’s nostalgic glance back

However, Forlan also enjoys playing in Asia, having turned out for J-League club, Cerezo Osaka, where he scored 17 goals in 42 appearances during the 2014-2015 season. He had limited success at his last club, Mumbai City, where he scored five goals in 11 appearances, helping the club reach the semi-finals of the Indian Super League in 2016.

“We have been working very hard and long to sign Forlan. Hopefully we will get good news by the end of the week,” Kitchee club boss Ken Ng Kin said.

If Forlan does return to Penarol, it will mark his third spell at the Uruguayan club, having played there as a youth during the 1990-91 season and then rejoining Penarol as a senior player during the 2015-2016 season.

Forlan became a father for a second time last year and could opt to sign with his childhood club, with Penarol also very hopeful of securing the services of the 2010 World Cup hero, who helped his country reach the semi-finals of the tournament in South Africa, where he was also recognised with the Golden Ball award for being the best player of the tournament.

Re-signing Penarol would mean he would be able to help the club in their Copa Libertadores campaign with an option of moving to a coaching position with the club in the future.

Kitchee are out to sign a high-profile name to lead the local club when they make their debut in the AFC Champions League this year.