CHIANG RAI – Australian striker Mark Bridge is poised to leave the Western Sydney Wanderers and is in advanced talks for a move to the Thai Premier League’s Chiang Rai United.
Australia’s Daily Telegraph reported that a deal worth some $2 million before tax is on the table from Chiang Rai United, with the Wanderers prepared to sanction the move in recognition of Bridgeâ€™s service to the club.
Assuming Bridge is able to complete administrative requirements including a work permit, the deal is likely to be concluded when the Thai transfer window opens a month from today.
The exit of Mark Bridge will remove one of the last faces remaining from the Wanderersâ€™ debut in the A-League less than four years ago, with just captain Nikolai Topor-Stanley and utility Shannon Cole remaining from the inaugural squad.
Bridge was the target of interest from a Chinese club in January, along with fellow attacker Mitch Nichols, but Western Sydney refused to consider a departure mid-season for either player.
Now though, the expectation is that the grand final that Western Sydney lost to Adelaide United on May 1 was Bridgeâ€™s last game for the club, despite having another year to run on his contract.
It comes after four seasons for the Wanderers in which he has played 95 games and scored 25 goals â€” including 10 this season as Western Sydney reached what was their third grand final in his four years at the club.