x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Al Ain to announce remaining new signings soon

An Asian defender and foreign striker will be signed soon and talks to recruit a UAE player are at an advanced stage.

Al Ain are confident they are on the verge of completing the overhaul of their squad by finalising deals to sign a foreign striker and an Asian defender.

Aurelian Cosmin, the club's new Romanian manager, has already recruited Mirel Radoi, a midfielder, and the forward Ignacio Scocco for the 2011/12 season and plans to complete his quota of non-UAE players by strengthening the team at both ends of the pitch.

"The coach has decided to bring an Asian player in defence and a foreign player as a striker and I wish to finish the deals at the end of this week," Mohammed Obeid Hamdoun, a board member, said.

Hamdoun also revealed he has discussed with Cosmin the possibility of signing a goalkeeper to provide further cover the club's injury-prone glovemen. Last season Yousuf Abdulrahman, Waleed Salem, Abdullah Sultan and Sultan Mussabah all spent time on the treatment table.

"Cosmin asked for a new goalkeeper since we have many repeated injuries in this position," Hamdoun said. "Absolutely we trust our goalkeepers, but it doesn't prevent us to bring a new good goalkeeper to support the team.

The club are also at an "advanced level of negotiations" with regards to signing a UAE player and hope to unveil him at the beginning of next month when his contract with his current club expires.

Hamdoun confirmed the club had parted company with last season's foreign players Brahima Keita, Milovan Mirosevic and Jose Sand, who went on loan to Deportivo La Coruna in Spain in January.

Keita, the Ivory Coast midfielder, has been "allowed to find another club". The sale of Sand has, according to Hamdoun, "brought good revenue for Al Ain" while the club are "negotiating with the agent of Mirosevic" after informing the player, who only joined from Santiago in Chile in January, "we don't need this player in the coming season".

Juma Saeed, the Ivorian forward, is also leaving Al Ain but only on loan to a French club or a team in Syria or Morocco. The club are keen to avoid a repeat of the mistake they made in allowing Andre Sengahor to leave in 2009 for Baniyas where he finished as the league's top scorer last season.

"We are loaning out Juma Saeed as [we] don't [want to] repeat the same mistake done by Sengahor.

Faisal Ali is, however, surplus to requirements at the Tahnoun Bin Mohamed Stadium. He is the subject of an approach from Emirates, the Ras al Khaimah-based club.

"Personally I wish Faisal can get his chance in the professional league as a main player to be able of showing his abilities in the attack lines," Hamdoun said.

"We gave him the freedom to move to any club ... I think that he will get a good chance if he moved to one of the professional clubs to prove himself and recover his level as we know him before.

"We wish him success. Faisal is a polite and skilful player. He gave a lot to the club and we are trying to find a good chance for him in the league as a main player."

Al Ain are also organising a tournament to be staged during the second half of Ramadan. Al Shabab, from Saudi Arabia, Al Ahli and Real Madrid B have all confirmed their participation.

The timing is perfect and I expect the championship marketing will be successful with the participation of the addressed teams and Al Ain will benefit from the championship," Hamdoun said. "The technical staff and the coach is looking forward to play in the championship which will help prepare the team well for the coming season."

* Compiled with agency