Vietnamese striker Le Cong Vinh has turned down a US$10,000 a month deal with Thai football club Muang Thong United saying he wants to remain in Vietnam.
Le Cong Vinh Photo: Tuoi Tre
Former Vietnamese national coach Henrique Calisto, who is now at the Thai club, made the offer after Vinh’s three-year contract with T&T Hanoi finished last month.
Vinh, 26, had been a favorite of Calisto during his time in Vietnam, and would have become the highest paid Vietnamese footballer ever if he had accepted his mentor’s offer.
The Nghe An Province native came to the national limelight while playing for Song Lam Nghe An between 2004 and 2008.
He has come to be regarded as one of the best strikers Vietnam has produced since Le Huynh Duc, who in the 1990’s became the first footballer to play abroad professionally.
Vinh was the architect of Vietnam’s first-ever ASEAN Football Championship title in 2008 when he scored three goals in the two-legged finals against Thailand.
The same year he left Song Lam Nghe An for Hanoi T&T for a then Vietnamese record transfer fee of VND8 billion (US$381,000).
In August 2009 he went to Leixoẽs Sport Club of Portugal on a three-month loan deal facilitated by Calisto, who was once Leixoẽs' manager.