Bai's off, but Safuwan could stay with LionsXII

They were arguably the best defensive pair in South-east Asia over the last couple of seasons, forming a formidable partnership as Singapore stormed to a record fourth Suzuki Cup title in 2012.

There were part of the LionsXII team that made history when they lifted the Malaysian Super League title earlier this year.

There were fears both Baihakki Khaizan and Safuwan Baharudin would ply their trade in Malaysia next year.

While Baihakki revealed to The New Paper he was on the brink of joining Malaysian second tier side Johor FA next season, Safuwan could well be set to stick with the LionsXII.

Safuwan was mum when approached at national training at the Geylang Field on Monday, but TNP understands that he has already agreed to stay in Singapore.

The 22-year-old, regarded as one of the most talented footballers in Singapore, was previously linked to Malaysian Super League side T-Team.

Baihakki is set to move, though.

The 29-year-old told The New Paper: "The deal is almost done, but I'm still waiting for confirmation. I haven't signed the contract yet."

Like Hariss Harun, who has signed a two-year deal with Johor's main team, Johor Darul Takzim (JDT), Baihakki said he was lured by the club's lofty ambitions.

Earn a "jump"

He is hoping to perform well for Johor FA in the Premier League and earn a "jump" into the JDT side.

"Yes, there is chance that I could play for Darul Takzim midway through the season," said Baihakki, who is set to sign a four-year deal with the club in the next two weeks.

"The club have told me about that possibility. But all the same, I'm excited to be a part of the club's ambitious plans.

"The best part of the deal is that I'm only 20 minutes from home."

LionsXII captain Shahril Ishak is likely to join Baihakki at Johor FA.

The 29-year-old declined comment on Monday, but sources have revealed that he is on his way.

Midfield hard man Isa Halim said he will stay with the LionsXII, after turning down an offer from Malaysian Premier League team Penang FA.

He plans to renew his contract before he leaves with the national team for Iran next week. Singapore face Syria in an Asian Cup qualifier in Tehran on Nov 15.

"I'm staying, 99 per cent," said Isa, who is pursuing a degree in Business Management.

"I had to consider my school commitments. (Penang FA) could not accommodate that."


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