SINGAPORE - The chips fell as they did and the path was cleared, and finally, Baihakki Khaizan has found his way back to Jalan Besar Stadium - in a LionsXII shirt.
Speaking to The New Paper shortly after he put pen to paper to confirm his move from Malaysian Super League (MSL) side Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) yesterday, the central defender was looking at the big picture.
Baihakki (right) will play for the LionsXII until the end of the season in November before returning to Johor's second-tier outfit JDT II.
"This year is very important for me, because Singapore are co-hosts of the AFF Suzuki Cup, and also the defending champions," he said.
"There are games are being played at the new National Stadium and I wouldn't want to take the risk of not playing competitive football and jeopardising my chances of being involved in that tourney.
"It was important that I join the LionsXII to help both my preparations and the national team."
The 30-year-old was on a $30,000-a-month, four-year deal with JDT and revealed that he has had to take a "significant pay cut", but, as he did last week, again declined to reveal details.
"Yes it's a massive pay cut. But at this stage of my career, I feel that there are more important things than just money. If I don't play regularly in the build-up to the main tournament, come end of the year, I could lose out even more in football terms."
A Football Association of Singapore (FAS) spokesman confirmed the deal yesterday, but added: "His move is not official yet because we are waiting for the Football Association of Malaysia to finalise the paperwork and give the green light."