Ken Ilso set for Kedah move after impressing coach Tan Cheng Hoe
Ken Ilso is almost certain to don Kedah colours for the 2017 Malaysia Super League (MSL) season, as the former S.League stalwart waits to put pen to paper in the coming days after spending more than a week with the team.
The Danish striker played a part in Kedah's preseason friendlies against Perlis and PKNP FC, and has impressed his suitors.
"Ken will sign a contract in the next two or three days. He has done well so far and all the coaches are happy with him," Kedah coach Tan Cheng Hoe told ESPN FC.
"We wanted to see his talent before making a decision, which is why we had yet to confirm his signature. But he comes from a team where he regularly scores, and he has a good CV having played in the Bundesliga and China."
Ilso left Singapore's Home United in December after an impressive strike return of 36 goals in 52 appearances over the last two seasons.
Before that, the 30-year-old featured for German sides Fortuna Dusseldorf and VfL Bochum from 2010-2014 before making his Asia debut with Guangzhou R&F in the Chinese Super League.
Besides Ilso, the Canaries are trialling South Korean defenders Jang Suk-won and Ahn Jae-hoon to fill up their Asian quota.
"Both players look good, but I can only choose one. We will make a decision on them soon. After this, we will not sign anyone, as I think we have a complete squad for the new season," said Tan.
Liridon Krasniqi and Sandro are the other imports in a squad which has retained the core of its local players from 2016.
Tan, who also signed a one-year contract extension with the Malaysia Cup champions, wants his players to eclipse 2016's feat, which saw them finish third in the MSL and reach the last four of the FA Cup.
"The expectations will be higher, and I want the players to do better. A lot of team already know our way of playing, so we need to be more consistent," he added.
Kedah will next travel to Klang Valley for a series of friendlies against PKNS FC (Jan. 7), Terengganu (Jan. 9) and Felcra FC (Jan. 11).
Kedah's 2016 Malaysia Cup final opponents Selangor, meanwhile, have snapped up Liberian hitman Francis Forkey Doe for the 2017 campaign.
The troubled Red Giants have also confirmed that Italian-born Nigerian defender Ugo Ukah will be part of their squad for the new season.
Doe's signing will come as great news for the 33-time Malaysia Cup champions, who are without a quality striker, following the departures of Ahmad Hazwan Bakri and Patrick "Ronaldinho" Wleh.
Nicolas Anil is a former Malay Mail and Goal.com Malaysia editor/writer who appears on BFM Radio as a football analyst. Twitter: @nicolas_anil.