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Al Ain officials announced they will begin transfer talks for their star player Omar Abdulrahman, centre, with interested European clubs next month. AFP
Al Ain officials announced they will begin transfer talks for their star player Omar Abdulrahman, centre, with interested European clubs next month. AFP

Al Ain to start transfer talks with European clubs for Omar Abdulrahman

Al Ain will host a number of European clubs interested in Omar Abdulrahman next month as negotiations regarding a transfer will begin in earnest, reports John McAuely.

AL AIN // The chairman of Al Ain Club's board of directors says the club will host delegates from a number of European clubs next month to discuss the transfer of Omar Abdulrahman.

The prodigious playmaker has long been linked with a switch to Europe, and revealed last month he rejected the opportunity to join Benfica, a leading Portuguese side, on a one-year loan deal following his stirring performances during the UAE's Gulf Cup success.

Abdulrahman, 21, has reportedly continued to attract the attentions of clubs outside the Emirates, with recent speculation in the British media claiming Barcelona and Arsenal had expressed an interest.

However, while Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed would not confirm which clubs are scheduled to arrive next month Valencia, the Spanish Primera Liga side, have been mooted the chairman said he expected negotiations regarding a transfer to begin in earnest.

He would not comment on the permanence of any deal, but said he believes an agreement between Al Ain and a prospective club will be reached.

Sheikh Abdullah did, though, say Al Ain will do business only with a club that can offer Abdulrahman guaranteed first-team football, and that they must feature in a "strong" European league.

Abdulrahman's importance to Al Ain this season remains significant, with the Pro League champions still involved in three competitions. Chief among those appeared to be the Asian Champions League Al Ain have already played two games in Group D yet retaining their league title seems paramount.

Sheikh Abdullah said the club would sacrifice their Asian campaign if it continues to impact chances of an 11th top-flight title. He also urged the Pro League Committee to make provisions for sides competing in the Asian Champions League.

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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