Aurelio Vidmar will leave his post as head coach of Singapore's big-spenders Lion City Sailors on Friday and is set to return to Thailand champions BG Pathum United.
The Australian is in line to take charge of United in the AFC Champions League group stage and face Brisbane Roar should the A-League team progress through the play-offs in June.
Under Vidmar, Lion City had enjoyed a fine start to the Singapore Premier League season and currently sit in second behind Albirex Niigata after winning the last three games which included an 8-0 thrashing of Geylang International.
“We sincerely thank Aurelio for his work in getting the Lion City Sailors project off the ground in our first season, and for implementing a mindset of professionalism and excellence in the club,” said Chew Chun-Liang, CEO of the ambitious sailors who smashed the Singapore transfer record in January by paying $2.8 million to Benfica for Brazilian Diego Lopes.
“We wish Aurelio nothing but the best in his future endeavours.”
Vidmar, who led the team to third place last season, thanked his former employees.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of the Lion City Sailors project and I thoroughly enjoyed my time here with the team and management,” Vidmar said.
“I’m sure Singapore football fans were entertained by some of the football we continue to dish out, and I look forward to hearing about the future successes of the club,” said Vidmar.
The 54-year-old former Socceroo, who led Adelaide United to the final of the 2008 AFC Champions League, has been rumoured to be returning to Thailand for weeks to take control of BG Pathum, the club he left in 2017 under its former guise of Bangkok Glass, and the appointment is expected to be announced early next week.
United won the 2020-21 Thai League One title by a margin of 14 points but BG’s incumbent coach Dusit Chalermsan lacks the licence necessary to coach in the Champions League which kicks off in the eastern zone in June.
According to reports in the Bangkok media, the Thai tactician will stay at the club as technical director.
BG Pathum have been placed in Group F along with defending champions Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i of South Korea and Vietnam’s Viettel.
The fourth team in the group will be Brisbane should the Queensland outfit get past Kaya-Iloilo of the Philippines and then China’s Shanghai Port.