The Malaysia international has impressed the Bluebirds manager during his first few days on trial in the Welsh capital, but work permit issues could prevent a deal to eventuatingCardiff City manager Malky Mackay has heaped praises on Malaysian star striker Safee Sali, who joined the club on trials last week.
Safee is now two days into his two week stint with the Bluebirds and Mackay claims that he has been impressed with what he has seen from Safee, stating that he was a good lad as well.
“He’s only been with us for a couple of days and from what I can see, he’s a nice lad," Mackay told the Wales Online.
“He’s a stocky striker and he comes with a track record so I’m happy to have a look at him.”
When asked about how he got in touch with the 27-year-old, Mackay said that the owners, who are Malaysian, brought up Safee’s name within the recruitment department.
However Mackay repeated that the final decision was up to him and the Cardiff boss only decided to have a look at him due to his impressive track record.
He added: “The owners spoke to the recruitment department and I said 'let's have a look at this lad.
“A couple of teams in the Premier League have tapped into the Asian market and if it's going to help Cardiff City, I'm up for it.”
The player, dubbed as the Malaysian ‘David Beckham’ was previously in line for a trial stint with QPR but unfortunately things never materialised.
Cardiff City have now presented him with a real opportunity to impress and make the next big move into English Football but as Mackay said, even an exceptional impression might not be enough.
Mackay said: “We are hamstrung in the UK by work permits and criteria to get players into the country.
"Park Ji-Sung at Manchester United couldn't sign until he'd played for PSV Eindhoven in Holland for a couple of years.
“Most Asian players have to go through Europe and get bought by British from Europe, so we're not on a level playing field.”
Malaysia’s Fifa world ranking of 146 will indeed be detrimental towards Sali’s chances of making a permanent move to Cardiff but nevertheless, this trial stint could stimulate further opportunities for him in Europe.