x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Achille Emana seeks European route to 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Cameroon international expects to leave the UAE this summer, although has yet to confirm departure from Al Ahli.

Achille Emana says he may stay in UAE if there is a better option than Al Wasl and Al Ahli. Satish Kumar / The National
Achille Emana says he may stay in UAE if there is a better option than Al Wasl and Al Ahli. Satish Kumar / The National

DUBAI // Achille Emana says he will explore options to continue his career in Europe as the Al Ahli midfielder waits for the club to resolve his future.

The Cameroon international, who spent the final six months of last season on loan at Al Wasl, has two years remaining on his contract, however he does not expect to stay at the Rashid Stadium beyond this summer.

The appears to be no space for Emana in the Ahli squad anyway, with Grafite and Luis Jimenez already confirmed as two of their four foreign players for next season.

The signing of Hugo Viana, the Portuguese midfielder, should be officially announced in the next few days, while an Asian-born player replaced Lebanese defender Youssef Mohamed.

Emana's agent travelled to Dubai last month to discuss his situation with Ahli, where the club's board told him a decision had yet to be made. His representative investigated the possibility, too, of extending the agreement with Wasl, yet was asked to wait until the player returned from holiday next month. Wasl have since confirmed they are pursuing other alternatives.

Emana realises the importance of his next move, with the World Cup in Brazil a year away. He has represented Cameroon 42 times and, as he will be 32 by the time of next year's finals, this could be his last chance to feature on football's grandest stage.

"Now I've finished with Al Wasl I'd normally go back to Al Ahli, but for next season, no way," said Emana. "I need a better option.

"If I have the possibility to go back to Europe, then I'll take it. I have the World Cup so I need to play in a good competition, a big competition, to be available for that.

"Brazil is very, very important for me, so it's crucial I'm playing somewhere at a high level. Of course, the Pro League is a big competition, but I need more for the World Cup and for myself.

"So if it's possible to go back I will, but if not I'll stay in the UAE. This is life."

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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