Football: Thai soccer star Teerasil eyes Atletico Madrid loan

BANGKOK (AFP) - Thai striker Teerasil Dangda could join La Liga giants Atletico Madrid on loan during the winter transfer window, his current club Muang Thong United has confirmed.

The prolific forward, who scored 15 goals in this season's Thai Premier League, trained with the Spanish high-flyers at the start of the year and is eyeing a formal loan during the Thai close season.

"In January, if everything goes to plan, we may see Teerasil in La Liga," Muang Thong president Pongsak Polanan told the club's website Monday.

"There's a high chance," he said, adding that a possible stumbling block could be Atletico's quota restrictions for foreign players within the squad.

The striker's father confirmed the "loan move" when the European transfer window reopens.

Teerasil, 25, who has starred in domestic and international competition since he burst on the scene a few years ago, would be one of the first Southeast Asian players to compete in a top European division.

Atletico currently lie in second after an impressive start to the season and, if the switch goes ahead, Teerasil will compete for a place with Atletico's first choice strikers David Villa and Diego Costa - who has plundered 12 league goals so far.

The Thai star has played a key role for Maung Thong over recent seasons, scoring top this year as they came second in the league and firing them to the title in 2012.

He has also scored 28 times in fewer than 60 games for his country.

A loan to a major European side would be a significant coup for Thai football, which has struggled to improve despite big domestic sponsorship and decent crowds.