Heading to Asia: Wanderers striker Kerem Bulut. Photo: Morne de KlerkThe homecoming of Kerem Bulut is officially over just four months after it began, as Western Sydney Wanderers released the striker from the remainder of his contract to pursue a move to Thailand.
The 24-year-old signed a two-year deal with the Wanderers in late August that was met with significant fanfare, as the man from Auburn was reunited with a club where he made a major impact in his first spell in 2015.
However, Bulut will leave without scoring a single goal, having played six games, five of which he started, before being dropped for selection reasons last month.
His name was absent from the Wanderers’ team sheet in the past four matches, with Brendon Santalab and Lachlan Scott the preferred striking options in the 16-man squad for coach Tony Popovic.
As revealed by Fairfax Media last week, Bulut is set to resume his career in Asia, with Thai club Chiangrai United eager to sign the former n youth international.
In a brief statement, the club confirmed it had parted ways with Bulut, who last played in a 1-1 draw with Brisbane Roar on November 25.
“Western Sydney Wanderers today announce that Kerem Bulut has been released from his contract with immediate effect to pursue other professional opportunities,” the club said.
His departure leaves the Wanderers’ attacking stocks slim for the New Year’s Day clash with Perth Glory.
Scott is the only centre forward available, because Santalab was slapped with a three-match ban after being shown a straight red card for “assault on a player” during the Wanderers’ draw with Brisbane on Friday night.
Santalab was given his marching orders for a stray arm across the face of a Brisbane defender and received a two-match ban from the A-League match review panel, while also receiving an automatic one-match ban for the accumulation of five yellow cards.
The Wanderers accepted the ban on Wednesday, choosing not to fight the decision of the match review panel and leaving them with just one recognised striker on their roster for the next three games.
However, the club is looking to add another attacking option by signing a high-profile guest player in the transfer window, which opens on January 4.
Former Arsenal forward Eduardo was linked with a move to Western Sydney, although Football Federation informed the club he would not be granted guest player status and exempted from the salary cap and squad regulations.