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 By Paul Murphy

Thailand keeper Kawin to sign with Nigel Pearson's Leuven in Belgium

John Wilkinson and Jason Dasey speak on Jay Bothroyd and Chanathip Songkrasin helping Consadole Sapporo avoid relegation.

Thailand and Muang Thong United goalkeeper Kawin Thamsatchanan is set to team up with former Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson by heading to OH Leuven in Belgium.

Reports in the Thai media suggest that Kawin is on his way to Leuven, where Pearson is manager of the First Division B team, who play in the second tier of Belgian football.

The club are owned by the King Power International Group, the same Thai company that controls 2015-16 English champions, Leicester. And they seem determined to establish a link to their home country by bringing in arguably the top keeper in Southeast Asia.

The deal will be announced by Muang Thong at a media conference in Bangkok on Wednesday as Kawin follows a different route to the one taken by three of his teammates.

Chanathip Songkrasin, Teerasil Dangda and Theerathon Bumnathan will all be playing in the J.League this season after securing loan deals from Muang Thong.

But Kawin looks likely going west instead of east as he aims to fulfil his stated dream of playing in Europe.

In 2010, he was offered a trial by Manchester United on the recommendation of United legend Bryan Robson, who was head coach of Thailand at the time.

But Kawin broke his wrist at around the same time and missed the opportunity.

He has since remained at Muang Thong United lifting four Thai League titles with his club and two AFF Cups with his country.

Depsite being just 27 years old, Kawin has already earned over 60 caps for Thailand as he has developed a reputation as the best keeper in the region.

He had also been linked with a move to Japan alongside his Muang Thong teammates, but it appears that he will opt for a different direction as King Power facilitates the deal.

Bangkok-based Paul Murphy has lived in Asia for a decade, writing for ESPN FC since 2014. He is a former Daily Express sub-editor. @PaulMurphyBKK


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