x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

After deserting Al Ahli, Jaja eyes return to Turkey

Media reports say he wants to go back to his former club, Trabzonspor, and Galatasaray are also showing interest.

Jaja, right, was a fan favourite at Trabzonspor, in Turkey, but came to the UAE after his relations with the coach broke down.
Jaja, right, was a fan favourite at Trabzonspor, in Turkey, but came to the UAE after his relations with the coach broke down.

DUBAI // Al Ahli's wayward playmaker Jakson Coelho could be on his way back to Turkey, either to his former club Trabzonspor or league powerhouses Galatasaray.

Coelho left Dubai for Brazil on December 19 without permission. In a text message to a club official, the Brazilian said he was leaving to sort out "family issues".

Ahli are still waiting to hear from him, but Coelho has reached out to his former bosses and expressed a desire to return to the club that shipped him last summer for disciplinary reasons, according to the Turkish media. "I would like to return to the team again," Coelho, 25, reportedly told Trabzonspor officials. "This time, everything will be different."

Reports claimed Galatasaray were already in negotiations with Ahli, but a spokesman for the Dubai club refused to confirm the reports.

"The management have already announced their intention to sell the player," he said. "But at the moment, we would not like to comment on media speculations. We will make an announcement once any deal is signed."

Coelho, the 2008 Player of the Year in Ukraine, was offloaded by Trabzonspor during the summer after just one season because of his poor disciplinary record. Ahli signed him on a three-year deal for €4.5 million (Dh21.6m).

Coelho was a fan favourite at Trabzonspor, scoring 12 goals in 29 games, but his relationship with coach Senol Gunes broke down because of the player's alleged unprofessional and erratic behaviour, and he was shipped out.

Trabzonspor, however, still own 25 per cent of the player's rights, according to the Turkish club's president, Sadri Sener.

"The only reason we had to sell him was because of his private life," Sener was quoted as saying in the Turkish media.

"As a football player, he is a rare talent; his technique is one of the best.

"We still own 25 per cent of the player's right and if we want, we can get him back. This decision, however, depends on [the coach]. We will discuss the matter with him and act accordingly."

Galatasaray are also reportedly keen on signing Coelho during the January transfer window.

According to the Turkish media, they are willing to offer Ahli €3.5m and an annual package of €2m for the player.

The Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim holds Coelho in high esteem and has said he is willing to take personal responsibility for the player's behaviour.

According to the media, there would be some tough clauses in Coelho's contract to stop the player from indulging in Istanbul's colourful nightlife.