DUBAI // Al Wasl have decided to part ways their injured with Egyptian superstar Shikabala and sign Brazilian striker Jose Carlos Ferreira in his place.
Ferreira, 29, has already passed his medical and is set to become Wasl's second foreign recruit of the winter transfer after they secured Al Ahli's Achille Emana on a six-month loan as replacement for the injured Mariano Donda.
Shikabala, who was at the Zabeel Stadium on a one-year loan from Egyptian club Zamalek, damaged his knee in Wasl's 3-1 loss to Baniyas on December 16 and he has been recuperating in Cairo since. He was expected to return to Dubai before the resumption of the Pro League after a 40-day break, but failed to show up.
With no word from Shikabala on when he will return, Al Wasl Football Company's board of directors, following their meeting on Sunday night, decided to draft in Ferreira, who has played for clubs in Japan and South Korea, and spent a year on loan at Porto in 2002/03.
The board also gave their vote of confidence to coach Guy Lacombe, who has been facing growing criticism from Wasl's fans over the declining fortunes of the team. The club have lost six matches in a row, across all competitions, and are currently ninth in the Pro League, where they have just two wins from their last 10 matches.
Wasl have also added two local players during the winter transfer window to strengthen the squad. Striker Mohammed Nasser has come on a four-year deal from Al Ain, while defender Ghanem Bashir has been brought in from Ahli.
"It's the first time for me that I have faced these circumstances," Lacombe said after the 1-0 loss to Al Nasr. "We are suffering. We are losing players and having injured players.
"We wanted Shikabala and Donda to stay with us, but circumstances did not allow it."
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