Al Ahli’s striker search goes on as Luiz Adriano completes move to AC Milan
Al Ahli have failed in their attempt to sign Luiz Adriano, with the Brazilian agreeing an €8 million (Dh32.6m) transfer from Shakhtar Donetsk to AC Milan.
The striker was the subject of a substantial offer last month from Ahli, who remain in the market for a top-class forward. The Dubai club were originally confident of a deal being struck, with chairman Abdullah Al Naboodah initially tweeting that Ahli had a bid accepted.
However, having entered into the final six months of his contract at Shakhtar, Adriano had several options to continue his career outside Ukraine. He eventually opted for Milan, completing a deal on Thursday that runs until 2020.
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Adriano spent eight years at Shakhtar, winning six Ukrainian championships, four cup titles and the Europa League. He scored 129 goals in all competitions.
“FC Shakhtar thanks Luiz Adriano for the years he has spent in the team, for the goals scored and records set,” the club said in a statement. “We wish Luiz Adriano good luck in his new club and beautiful victories.”
The news represents a significant blow for Ahli, whose search for a high-profile striker continues. The 2013/14 Arabian Gulf League champions are preparing for a first quarter-final appearance in the Asian Champions League in August and have been linked this summer to Demba Ba, the former Chelsea and Newcastle United frontman who transferred last month to China’s Shanghai Shenhua.
Hulk, the Brazilian international at Zenit St Petersburg, was also rumoured to have attracted interest from Ahli and Sao Paulo’s Palmeiras, along with clubs in China. Yet he confirmed this week that he was settled at his current side.
“I had a proposal from China, the United Arab Emirates and elsewhere,” Hulk said. “Other places in Europe, also. But I am happy in Russia – my family is well and like living in Russia. It’s not often that money talks. I am very happy with the affection of the Brazilian fans, especially the Palmeiras supporters. They know the love I have. I hear news that I’m coming for Brazilian football, but no, I’m fine in Russia. My contract is over four years and I hope to continue in Russia.”
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Updated: July 3, 2015 04:00 AM