x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Al Ain closing in on Michel Bastos signing

Deal for the winger to join the Pro League champions from Lyon.

Michel Bastos is set to join Al Ain.
Michel Bastos is set to join Al Ain.

Michel Bastos is expected to complete his transfer to Al Ain on Tuesday despite a late bid from Spartak Moscow for the Lyon winger, according to reports in France.

Negotiations between the Pro League champions and the French club have been ongoing for the past month, with discussions stalling because of a discrepancy regarding the transfer fee.

Lyon want €10 million (Dh45m) for the Brazil international, yet Al Ain are reportedly willing to pay an initial €6m, rising to €9m. Jean-Michel Aulas, the Lyon president, revealed last week fresh talks had failed to reach an agreement, although insisted a deal would still be concluded.

Emmanuel de Kerchove, Bastos's representative, yesterday claimed Lyon's inability to sell Anthony Reveillere to Paris Saint-Germain had increased the need to offload Bastos, one of the club's highest earners at a reported €3.5m per year. However, De Kerchove added: "Nothing will move before the end of Ramadan."

The impasse appeared to have opened the door for Spartak, the Russian club, though it is thought they cannot match the salary on offer at Al Ain.

Bastos, who was in Lyon's squad for last night's match Ligue 1 match with Troyes, wants to come to the UAE.

Grafite, Al Ahli's Brazilian striker, told The National he spoke with his compatriot last week about the move, saying: "I told him the life here is very nice, and that the league is not as strong as the French, but said it has quality players and that today Al Ain are the best team in the country because they are champions.

"He told me he's waiting for contact between the presidents from Al Ain and Lyon to finish negotiations.

"His signing would be very good for the league. But it's not for us, because he's a great player and he'll be playing for Al Ain."

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