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Five imports expected to leave MSL in the June window

PDRM’s Ali Ashfaq and Erick Weeks Lewis of Perak have already left their Malaysia Super League (MSL) teams. FourFourTwo lists five players who look certain to be offloaded as their clubs attempt to strengthen the squad for the second half of the season. 

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Gilberto Carlos Filho Marangoni

Felda United have the next best defence after Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT), but unlike the role Marcos Antonio is playing at the Southern Tigers, his compatriot is proving to be more of an Achilles heel than anything else.

Thirty-six-year-old Shukor Adan, club captain, is what has been holding the Fighters defence and fingers were pointed at this Brazilian as the Fighters’ weakness in defence.

Coach Irfan Bakti Abul Salim openly criticised Gilberto after a shock 3-2 defeat to Perak last month, and the general consensus among the players and staff is that the 26-year-old is not doing enough for Felda’s title aspirations.

With the club just two points behind defending champions JDT entering the mid-season break, FourFourTwo understands Irfan is on the lookout for a replacement to beef the backline.

Juan Jose Morales

Morales has only scored just one league goal after 12 rounds

It says a lot when an import striker struggles to even make the starting eleven, let alone score goals.

Morales was a last-minute signing by the Turtles after they rejected the many that attended trials and by the looks of it, Terengganu made a panic signing in order to avoid being at a disadvantage by having less imports.

Morales is finding it tough to even start matches and when thrown on from the bench, he has flattered to deceive.

With a return of just one league goal after 12 rounds and Terengganu struggling to make an impact in the league, the Argentine is expected to be shown the exit door.

Dramane Traore

Traore is expected to be among the first to leave in June

Kelantan placed high expectations on Traore after the Malian ran away with the MSL Golden Boot award last season, averaging almost a goal every game in the 12-team league.

His 20 goals for PDRM were eight more than Argentineans Matias Conti and Luciano Figueroa.

However, this season, the 33-year-old is looking past his sell-by date and the Cops should be looking to move him.

Traore has only scored three times in 12 league matches and has openly received criticism from team advisor Datuk Seri Hasmiza Othman, who is also Kelantan’s biggest sponsor through Vida Beauty.

Kelantan are facing financial difficulties, having missed repayment dates for monies owed to former players, but president Tan Sri Annuar Musa has already hinted at an active transfer window and Traore is expected to be among the first to leave in June.

Sandro da Silva Mendonca

Liridon Krasniqi has not been aided by Mendonca's absence

The 32-year-old has been in red-hot form but a niggling back injury, one that has made him return to Brazil for surgery this month, could end his Kedah stay.

Mendonca is expected to return to Malaysia in July but the Red Eagles could be forced to find a replacement as the transfer window closes on July 15.

Tan Cheng Hoe may not want to risk the possibility of not having four imports as it would also hamper their Malaysia Cup campaign.

Mendonca is the link between Kedah’s dominant midfield and attack, and his absence has seen striker Carlos Kahe drop deeper.

Both Brazilians have formed an excellent understanding with Liridon Krasniqi this season.

Mauro Olivi

Olivi has failed to provide much spark

Olivi simply does not look like a player suitable for Selangor, or any other sides with aspirations to give JDT a run for their money.

Attacking-minded imports with the Southern Tigers, Felda United, Kedah and even T-Team have game-changing capabilities, but Olivi has failed to provide much spark.

He has not been helped by a post-match dressing room bust-up with Hafiz Kamal in April, leading the club to suspend him.

With Zainal Abidin Hassan’s former star man, Dickson Nwakaeme, at Pahang lurking around looking for a club, Olivi could be forced out if Selangor caved into the Nigerian’s demands.

Dickson was a vital cog in Pahang’s recent successful years and could easily be the final jigsaw in a Selangor squad that already boast the likes of Patrick Wleh, R. Gopinathan, Ahmad Hazwan Bakri and Nazmi Faiz Mansor.

Photos: PDRM