KUCHING: Sarawak have signed former international Akmal Rizal Rakhli for their Super League campaign next season.
The 31-year-old former Kedah striker will replace Sabahan Bobby Gonzales, who was the top scorer for the Crocs with 16 goals this season.
Bobby has offers from Police, Perak and his home state Sabah.
A source close to the FA of Sarawak (FAS) said that Akmal has signed a one-year contract. The former international comes with strong playing credentials including a foreign stint with RC Strasbourg in the French Division One League (1999-2000).
The football nomad played with Kedah (2002-06), Selangor (2006-08), Kuala Muda Naza FC (2009), Kelantan (2010) and Perak (2011-12) before moving to his home team Kedah last season.
Sarawak, under Dutchman Robert Alberts, emerged Premier League champions this year. They also qualified to the Malaysia Cup semi-finals, before losing to eventual champions Pahang.
The newly-promoted Sarawak have retained attacking midfielder Bosnian Muamer Salibasic for another season.
The FAS, however, have decided not to extend the contracts of six players – Cameroon midfielder Guy Bwele, striker Azizan Baba, midfielder Sharul Abdul Malek, defenders Sharan Abdul Samad and Fareez Tukijo, and goalkeeper Saiful Amar Sudar.
Alberts has recommended that the FAS recruit Johor FC’s Rashid Aya, Perak striker S. Chanturu and Sarawak-born Reeshafiq Alwi, who played for PKNS FC last season.