Bai backflip as Singapore international signs with Thai giants in 'chance of a lifetime'
Baihakki admits he was unable to resist a last-minute offer from Muangthong, receiving the call from the Thai giants just as he was preparing to start the drive to Malaysia, the Singapore defender told FourFourTwo on Thursday.
I was in shock at first as this is Muangthong, one of the biggest clubs in this region that is showing interest in me
"I was actually just finishing packing my things in the car when an official from Muangthong called me,” the 33-year-old said.
"I was in shock at first as this is Muangthong, one of the biggest clubs in this region that is showing interest in me.
"My mind was set to play with KL (Kuala Lumpur) in the MSL (Malaysia Super League), but it is impossible to decline the offer from a club like Muangthong.”
Baihakki thanked Kuala Lumpur Football Association (KLFA) Secretary General Nokman Mustaffa, whom he personally contacted to inform him he had to reject KL's offer in favour of Muangthong.
"I thank KLFA for understanding my situation in this matter as it is a chance of a lifetime for me to join a club of Muangthong's stature," said Baihakki.
Baihakki is schedule to head to Bangkok on Friday to sign a one-year contract with Muangthong, who are known as the Twin Qilins.
The former Lions XII and Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) player, who spent last season with Warriors FC in the S.League, will become the fourth Singaporean to play in Thailand this season after Hassan Sunny, Izwan Mahbud and Zulfahmi Ariffin.
By opting for a move to Thailand, Baihakki would also be the first Singaporean to play in four major ASEAN countries – Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
It is a chance of a lifetime for me to join a club of Muangthong's stature
He could face his former club JDT in the preliminary second round of AFC Champions League qualifying on January 23.
"I'm honoured to play in all four major countries in this region as it has been quite a journey in my career,” he said.
"JDT has progressed every year and I'm sure they are committed to advance to the next stage as well.
"I'm looking forward to facing them in a packed stadium at Muangthong and I'm sure it will be a good match between both sides."