Ex-Fulham defender Zesh Rehman leaves MSL giants Pahang
Former Fulham defender Zesh Rehman has parted ways with Malaysia Super League club, Pahang.
The 32-year-old Pakistan captain announced via his Instagram account that he would not be returning for the second half of the season and the club's 2016 Malaysia Cup campaign, which starts next month.
"I have reached an amicable agreement with Pahang FC to mutually terminate my contract for reasons which will remain confidential," he said.
"It was an honour to play in Malaysia for Pahang FC for the last three years & experience being club captain. I am very happy with my contribution to the club."
I have reached an amicable agreement with Pahang FC to mutually terminate my contract for reasons which will remain confidential. It was an honour to play in Malaysia for Pahang FC for the last 3 years & experience being Club Captain. I am very happy with my contribution to the club. Played 94 from a possible 100 games. Malaysia Cup, Charity Shield & FA Cup winner in 2014. 2015 Malaysia Cup & FA Cup semi finalists, League runner... highest League finish for Pahang in the last 10 years & created history for the club by reaching the AFC Cup 1/4 finals. Managed to Scored 13 goals, 8 assists & top scoring defender in the Malaysia Super League. I would love a future return in a coaching role, something which was offered to me at the start of this season but was not the right moment for me. I will be back to visit my sons birth place of Kuantan. Pahang have the best fans in Malaysia & are by far the best I have played for. Leaving here on excellent terms with the hierarchy, fantastic memories & many formed friendships. Good luck to all the staff & team for the rest of the season. Thank you. #newchallenge #goodmemories #bestfans #elephantarmy #malaysiacup #tokgajah #willbeback #seeyouagain #secondhome
Rehman, who can play both central midfield and centre-back, leaves after Pahang's poor start to the season which sees them stranded in the relegation zone. They have won only two of their first 12 MSL games to sit in 11th place in the 12-team league.
He joined Pahang from Hong Kong's Kitchee two and a half years ago, winning the 2014 Malaysia FA Cup and 2015 Malaysia Cup. Along with Selangor, the Elephants were the greatest rivals of champions Johor Darul Ta'zim in the two previous seasons.
But they suffered a slump in fortunes when head coach Zainal Abidin Hassan departed at the end of last year for Selangor, taking four Pahang stars with him.
Pahang FA CEO Datuk Akbar V V Abu praised their departing utility player.
"Zesh's example and leadership to the young and local players was outstanding," he said. "The door for a future return is open anytime. We would love to see him back in a coaching role one day."
Rehman revealed that he had declined the offer of a coaching position at the club at the start of the 2016 season.
He added: "Pahang have the best fans in Malaysia and are by far the best I have played for. Leaving here on excellent terms with the hierarchy, fantastic memories and many formed friendships."
Rehman played 21 games in the English Premier League for Fulham between 2003 and 2006 and his other English clubs include Queens Park Rangers, Norwich City and Bradford City.