Three LionsXII players heading to Johor

The 2013 MSL champions will bid farewell to three key players including captain Shahril Ishak who will ply his trade in the second-tier of the Malaysian League
Johor FA and Johor Darul Takzim will be home to three LionsXII players for the 2014 season, including captain Shahril Ishak and vice-captain Hariss Harun.

Malaysian Premier League side Johor FA will boast two Singapore internationals, Shahril and Baihakki Khaizan after the club confirmed the transfer of both players.

The duo are believed to be on a deal that will extend beyond the 2014 season and have been earmarked to lead the Johor teams' transformation into legitimate title challengers and as a strong force in the region.

Meanwhile, Johor Darul Takzim who finished third in the 2013 Malaysian Super League, have already confirmed the signing of Hariss Harun for the new season, with the 22-year-old dismissing criticism that the move was influenced by money. The Singapore U23 captain has cited the opportunity to develop and the ambition of the club as reasons for his transfer.

The exit of three key LionsXII players, and that of coach V.Sundramoorthy, signals the start of a renewal process for the Singapore side who will be entering their third season in the 2014 campaign. Tampines Rovers' Khairul Amri who was with the LionsXII in their inaugural season has confirmed his return to the team, while a search for Sundram's replacement is still underway and an appointment likely to be made before the start of the upcoming SEA Games.

Johor Darul Takzim have been on a signing spree in preparation for the new season, with former Valencia and Atletico Madrid coach Cesar Ferrando Jimenez taking over from Fandi Ahmad as head coach, and the signing of former Argentinian international Pablo Aimar. The 33-year-old has been quoted by the club as the "highest-ever paid foreign player to have ever graced Malaysian football."