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Diego Maradona, right, is unhappy with the Al Wasl's dealings in the transfer market.
Diego Maradona, right, is unhappy with the Al Wasl's dealings in the transfer market.

Diego Maradona threatens to quit Al Wasl if he is not given funds

The Argentine manager wants parity in transfer market with fellow title chasers, such as Al Nasr, or he will hand in his contract.

DUBAI // Diego Maradona has threatened to leave Al Wasl at the end of this season if the club management does not support him with a bigger budget for players.

The Argentine legend has been critical of Wasl's inactivity during the January transfer window in the past, but last night, at his press conference ahead of tomorrow's Pro League match against Baniyas, he made it clear he will not accept a similar situation in the second year of his contract with the club.

"We had a list of players we wanted to sign, but we could not do that because of a restricted budget," Maradona said.

"Our budget does not allow us to sign players we have in mind. So we will have to work with what we have for now.

"We will try to do the best we can for the rest of the season, but I want to let everyone know, especially the fans, I will not accept a small budget for the next season.

"I want a budget that will allow us to sign players who can give us a boost, add value to the team and help us compete.

"If this does not happen then I will not be able to do my job and continue, and I might be forced to send my contract back to Mr Marwan [bin Bayat, the chairman of Al Wasl]."

Maradona made it clear he was not asking for the moon but just parity with other clubs and pointed out the recent signing of Luca Toni by Al Nasr.

"I would like you to note that is not just a threat," he said. "I just want to be in the same situation as other clubs and teams. Look at the recent reinforcements done by the other teams. Look at Walter Zenga's team [Al Nasr] - they have brought Luca Toni. This is what I am asking. It's not something unachievable. We want strong players who can add value to the team.

"Of course, I would like to reiterate I am very happy here, but I cannot continue like this."

Maradona was also upset last night about fans showing up for a closed-door training session and wants the people responsible for the lapse to be replaced.

"I wanted a closed-door training session, but there were people there," he said. "This means that there are some people who are not doing their job.

"This is something that is unacceptable. I cannot do my job if things that I ask for are not being done. I will be asking for a meeting with the chairman to discuss this issue and see who has neglected this important job. If things continue like this, I don't think I will be able to work like this."

arizvi@thenational.ae

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Audio: Sports round-up, Feb 7

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