ATM coach B. Sathianathan is confident centre-back Amirizdwan Taj Tajuddin will sign an extension with the Malaysia Super League outfit in the coming weeks.
The Gladiators are currently still coming to terms with the departures of Shukor Adan and goalkeeper Farizal Harun to FELDA United, which has severely depleted their defensive stocks.
But while Amirizdwan has also been linked with a move away from the Majlis Perbandaran Selayang Stadium, Sathianathan reveals his star defender has promised to commit to the club once he returns from international duty with Malaysia.
“Taj said before he left with the national team that he would sign after he returns from Bahrain,” the ATM boss told New Straits Times.
“He told me that he has not spoken to any other team and that he wants to continue to improve with Forces.
“For now, I don’t want to bother him while he is with the national team. I am not like some other coaches who will go to FAM [Football Association of Malaysia] and talk to players.”
Sathianathan also expressed confidence that ATM would not be losing any other players, despite rumours linking captain Hairuddin Omar to FELDA as well.
And with Marlon Alex James and Bruno Martelotto committed to another year with the Armed Forces, the 55-year-old tactician revealed that an Asian defender would likely be joining them as the club’s third foreign signing for 2014.
“I have three of four Asian defenders on my radar,” Sathianathan added.
“Three South Koreans and a Japanese player will be arriving on November 24 for a trial. I will have a look at them and decide.
“Aside from Shukor and Farizal, everyone else will be staying and we will begin pre-season training on November 21.”
The former Malaysia coach did however admit that it was unlikely he would find an ideal replacement for Farizal.
“As for the goalkeeper, we have two lined up but I cannot name them yet until their existing contracts with their respective teams expire at the end of the month,” he explained.
“Truthfully, there are only two really good goalkeepers in this country but neither Khairul Fahmi Che Mat nor Farizal Marlias is available. So I have to make do with whoever I can find.”
ATM finished sixth in the Super League this season and also reached the semi-finals of the Malaysia Cup.