x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Al Ain's Abdulrahman has premier chance to impress at Manchester City

The Pro League club admits it is open to the London 2012 star extending his spell with Roberto Mancini's squad after his initial two-week trial.

Omar Abdulrahman played a part in both goals that UAE scored at the Olympics.
Omar Abdulrahman played a part in both goals that UAE scored at the Olympics.

Al Ain would be prepared to open talks with Manchester City over Omar Abdulrahman should the young midfielder make the grade during a two-week trial with the English Premier League champions.

The 20 year old was invited to Manchester after his impressive displays for the UAE Under 23 team at the London Olympics and has been taking part at the club's Carrington Training Centre where world stars such as Carlos Tevez, Yaya Toure and Mario Balotelli hone their skills.

"He was called up for two weeks and if they have an interest in him then the club management will take the step to start the next round of talks," an official from Al Ain said yesterday.

But it will not be easy for the diminutive playmaker to make the breakthrough into Roberto Mancini's side.

"He was the most outstanding player in the Pro League and playing at the London Olympics he got noticed by some of the major European clubs," Kefah Al Kaabi, a former UAE top-flight player and television pundit, said.

"He has only a very slim chance of playing in the Premier League because of their stringent rules on overseas players as well as trying to find a place in the City squad.

"But the important thing here is that he has got a break and the opportunity to play with some of the first-team players at City. He would certainly benefit from the experience."

At the Olympics the creative midfielder provided the passes that led to both the UAE goals in their 2-1 defeat to Uruguay and 3-1 loss to Great Britain.

Al Kaabi believes Abdulrahman has more chance of playing in one of the elite leagues than Hamdan Al Kamali, the UAE Olympic team captain and Al Wahda defender who spent six months on loan at Lyon, the top-flight French club.

"Omar is the most outstanding talent to emerge in recent times and I feel he stands a better chance to play in Europe than Hamdan," he said.

"I would like to think he gets the opportunity to play in Europe, if not now, even later."

Abdulrahman spent most of the first half of the season recovering from knee surgery.

He returned to action in the second half of the campaign and has impressed both for his club and country, since then.

apassela@thenational.ae

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