SINGAPORE - Jermaine Pennant, the former Arsenal and Liverpool winger, will delight fans at S-League matches this upcoming season, having agreed terms with S-League club Tampines Rovers.
The player had been on trial at the club since arriving last Thursday (Jan 7).
The Straits Times understands Pennant will be paid about $40,000 monthly on a one-year deal, with an option for renewal. He is expected to put pen to paper by the end of Thursday.
This will make the former England Under-21 player the league's highest-paid player in its 20-year history.
Japan's Kazuyuki Toda, who was paid $20,000 a month by the Warriors in 2013, is believed to have been the previous highest-paid S-League player.
Asked about the deal, Tampines chairman Krishna Ramachandra said: "We have agreed terms with Jermaine and I am truly pleased about it.
"It's a big day for Singapore football and I am grateful for the outpouring support from Komoco-Hyundai, Red Card Group, the Football Association of Singapore and the fans. I can certainly say it was a collective effort by everyone to make this deal happen.
"I am personally excited about the upcoming S-League season and I hope the fans come to support all the S-League clubs. It must not just be a Tampines Rovers or Pennant show. Without the other clubs we would not have anything to play for. So I truly hope all football fans rally around the S-League and be the catalyst needed."
Pennant played the second-half of Tampines' friendly against Hougang United last Saturday in front of some 2,000 spectators at the Jalan Besar Stadium. The fleet-footed played was fielded on the left flank, but drifted in to wreak havoc down the middle with his dribbling, close control, pace, and eye for a through ball. He also provided an assist for Shakir Hamzah.
The Stags are supposed to go on a training tour on Friday, which coincidentally is Pennant's 33rd birthday. But it is believed the tour might not proceed as there are concerns over players' fatigue ahead of the team's crucial Asian Champions League play-off match away to Indian side Mohun Bagan on Jan 27.