Henrique's Adelaide exit sparks chain reaction
The Brazilian forward is set to cut his stint at the Reds short but the A-League champions could have good transfer news soon
Adelaide United are set to lose another of their recent recruits, with Henrique on his way to Thailand’s Chiang Rai United.
Having only arrived at the Reds from Malaysian club Negeri Sembilan in August, the 31-year-old Brazilian forward has flown north again in an attempt to have success in Asia.
According to Goal sources, Henrique has effectively completed a deal with Chiang Rai and will replace former Western Sydney Wanderers striker Mark Bridge at the club that finished eighth in the 2016 Thai League.
Adelaide captain Eugene Galekovic essentially confirmed Henrique’s departure on Tuesday when noting that the striker is the third pre-season recruit to leave midseason.
Midfielder James Holland has signed for Liaoning Whowin and striker Sergi Guardiola has been sent back to parent club Granada this month.
“Three of our new signings this year lasted four months,” Galekovic said.
“It’s not great but that’s football.
“We’re a world game and there’s teams all over the world that poach players and this year it has been three players and three experienced boys.
“It’s disappointing but that is the nature of the game.”
Henrique has played 13 games for Adelaide, scoring three goals.
But in good news for Reds coach Guillermo Amor, Senegalese striker Papa Babacar Diawara will join the reigning A-League champions, according to a report in The Adelaide Advertiser.
Diawara, who is on the books of Maritimo, has extensive experience in both Portugal’s Primeira Liga and Spain’s La Liga but has only scored 10 goals in the past five seasons, including zero in 2016-17.
Henrique’s move to Chiang Rai to take up the club’s Asian Football Confederation-reserved spot will spark a chain reaction for a couple of Australian players.
The ex-Brisbane Roar forward is an Australian citizen having lived in Australia since 2009.
Former Newcastle Jets winger Andy Brennan was trialling with Chiang Rai but has subsequently missed out on a contract and will look to other options in Thailand and Asia.
Meanwhile, Bridge could still sign with the Jets for the rest of the A-League season with Newcastle’s football operations manager Joel Griffiths telling The Newcastle Herald this week that the 31-year-old would be a “perfect asset”.
After attracting the interest of the Jets and the Wanderers earlier this month, Bridge suffered a leg injury that seemingly ended his chances of a move but the damage is not as bad as first feared.