Football: Pennant not jumping gun on Stags deal, but says 'more chance of it being a yes'

Former Arsenal and Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant training with Tampines Rovers at Jalan Besar Stadium on Jan 7, 2016.
Former Arsenal and Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant training with Tampines Rovers at Jalan Besar Stadium on Jan 7, 2016.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

SINGAPORE - Former Arsenal and Liverpool player Jermaine Pennant is close to signing a deal to join S-League club Tampines Rovers.

The 32-year-old Englishman, who arrived in Singapore last Thursday on a week-long trial with the local football club, said following the Stags' training session on Wednesday evening: "I don't want to say, 'Yes it'll happen.' I don't want to say it now. (I'm) not jumping the gun. But there's more chance of it being a yes."

A confirmation is expected to take place by Thursday, before Tampines leave for a training tour of Malaysia. Pennant added: "Within the next 24 to 48 hours, you'll know."

He has reiterated that taking a pay cut is not an issue for him. His last-drawn weekly wage was £25,000 (S$52,590) at English third-tier club Wigan and S-League clubs seldom pay more than $10,000 monthly for foreign signings.

He said: "It's not just about the money, it's about football. In the long run, I'll probably get rewarded in a different way. If I do well at Tampines, I'm sure I'll be rewarded."

The speedy winger played the entire second half of a friendly against Hougang United last Saturday in front of almost 2,000 fans at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Tampines coach V. Sundramoorthy is already impressed with Pennant's work rate and the attitude he has shown during training sessions.

Sundram said: "He encourages the players on the pitch, he turns up early for training and gets along well with all the other players."

chiazya@sph.com.sg