x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Al Ahli plan to raid rivals Al Shabab for left-back Walid Abbas

Dubai club hope to sign UAE international on recommendation of manager Quique Sanchez Flores.

Walid Abbas, centre, in action for Al Shabab last season, will play in an Al Ahli shirt this season. Mike Young / The National
Walid Abbas, centre, in action for Al Shabab last season, will play in an Al Ahli shirt this season. Mike Young / The National

DUBAI // Al Ahli are preparing a bid for Al Shabab's UAE international Walid Abbas as they look to strengthen their defence.

Their hopes of signing Abbas come as a result of a recommendation by Quique Sanchez Flores, their Spanish coach, who has also agreed to renew his contract and is expected to formally sign the deal in the next few days.

"We want Ahli to be competing for titles next season and this bid for Walid Abbas is an effort in that direction," a club source said.

"We have quality players across the pitch, but our technical team believes we need to strengthen our defence to achieve our aspirations for next season, especially in the left-back position."

Ahli had also made an offer for Shabab's Olympic team member Mohammed Ahmed, but the player opted for Al Ain. Ahli are now hoping they can convince Abbas to switch sides. "There has been no formal contact with Shabab as yet [for Abbas], but the negotiations will start in the next few days with the club and hopefully he will be wearing the Ahli colours next season," the source added.

But Ahli have stopped negotiations with Al Hilal for Achille Emana because of the Saudi club's financial demands.

Hilal are looking to sell the former Real Betis player, while Ahli wanted a renewal of the loan deal, which brought the Cameroonian to the Dubai in January. The end of the negotiations for Emana could see Ahli turn towards the Brazilian Magrao, who has spent the last three seasons at Al Wahda.

"If the Emana deal does not work out, we have a number of options who are at the same level, including Magrao," Abdullah Saeed Al Naboodah, the chairman of Al Ahli, had told Al Ittihad last week.

arizvi@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE