JDT insist Junior staying put

Felda United’s hope of Junior Eldstal being included as makeweight in Hadin Azman’s potential move to Johor Darul Ta’zim hit a snag as the Malaysian champions need depth to battle three fronts, says sporting director Alistair Edwards. 

Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) are not keen on sending Swedish-Malaysian Junior Eldstal to Felda United as part of a swap deal for in-form youngster Hadin Azman.

The Southern Tigers’ sporting director Alistair Edwards told FourFourTwo that the club are still interested in securing the services of Hadin but the possibility of the 24-year-old Eldstal moving in the other direction was slim as it would reduce the depth in the squad, something Mario Gomez does not need as he juggles between defending the AFC Cup, Malaysia Super League (MSL) and winning their first Malaysia Cup come end of the year.

JDT appear unwilling to send Eldstal on loan, promising the rotating policy at the club will see the midfielder-cum-defender get action if he stays injury free.

“Eldstal is an integral component of our team. We have a lot games coming up and the ambition of the club sees us competing for top honours,” said Edwards.

“I understand Eldstal’s frustration … every time he’s about to break in, he gets injured. I told him to be patient, stay injury free and the opportunity to play will present itself. He is a national team player too.”

The Southern Tiger are also keen on securing the services of Malaysian right-winger Azrif Nasrulhaq but Selangor are playing hardball, though negotiations are on-going between the two sides.

Like Hadin, Azrif has also publicly expressed his desire to move JDT.

“It’s a common knowledge that we are looking to strengthen our squad with these two players. It is a work in progress at the moment,” said Edwards.

“Unlike our competitors in the MSL and the Malaysia Cup, we have the AFC Cup as well and are going to be playing two matches all the way up to the end of the season. That’s why we need to strengthen.

“We represent Malaysia in the AFC competition and it’s going to be tough with the traveling and games coming thick and fast. Gomez has been rotating the players very well all season and we are looking forward to more of that.”

Main Photo: JDT