Super League club side Johor FC, languishing at the wrong end of the table with only one win in four matches, are close to signing their first foreign player - central defender Pascal Ochieng, captain of the Kenya national team.
The 27-year-old Ochieng is currently on trial with Johor FC while the search for an out-and-out striker is "bearing fruit" according to team manager Wan Nizam Wan Omar as the team try to get out of a rut.
With only three points from their 2-1 win over newcomers PKNS FC in their opening match, Johor FC are third from bottom after defeats to Negri Sembilan (2-0), Kelantan (2-1) and Perak (1-0).
On Saturday, Johor FC visit winless Kedah in Alor Star and Wan Nizam hoped they would be able to check the slide, although no foreigner is likely to feature due to time constraints.
"Pascal has been on trial for a couple of days but he has done enough to impress us. The management will have a discussion with chief coach (K. Devan) before deciding on the player," said Wan Nizam.
"We have also negotiated with a proven striker and hope that the deal will come through. We hope to sign a defender and a striker before the window closes on Feb 14."
Ochieng, a central defender, has been impressive during the trials. He is available because Kenya did not qualify for the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations Cup being played in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
Wan Nizam, however, made it clear that Johor FC are in no rush to sign up Pascal just to meet the quota. Johor FC were left without a foreign player at the start of the new season when the FA of Malaysia (FAM) rejected both their players from Brazil.
The two - striker Tito Fernando and midfielder Tiago Lima Leal - both of whom had already signed one-year contracts with Johor FC - allegedly failed to adhere to Fifa's requirements for foreign players to play in the M-League.