Al Jazira sell off playmaker Abdelaziz Barrada to Marseille
Al Jazira have confirmed the move of Abdelaziz Barrada, their most productive player last season, to the French club Marseille, a day after announcing the arrival of promising 21-year-old Argentinian midfielder Manuel Lanzini on a four-year deal from River Plate.
Jazira have not revealed the financial details of the sale, but reports in France claim the Abu Dhabi side have received €4.5 million (Dh22.2m) for the Moroccan and will be eligible for a bonus if Marseille qualify for the Uefa Champions League.
Barrada, 25, the long-limbed Morocco international, last summer joined Jazira from Getafe of the Spanish league and quickly became the focal point of the Jazira attack. Walter Zenga, Jazira’s coach last season, often described him as Jazira’s most dangerous attacking player.
Jazira will hope Lanzini can replace Barrada as the side’s playmaker. After indicating a preference to depart the Argentine side River Plate, the Primera Division champions, his name was connected with several clubs including Tottenham to Besiktas, Lazio and Villareal.
The move was confirmed over the weekend by Rodolfo D’Onofrio, the River Plate president, who said: “In the case of Lanzini, it is not that we chose to sell, but the offer from Arabia is good and he wants to go. We cannot hold him.”
Baniyas, meanwhile, have completed their quartet of foreign players for the season with the arrival of the Spanish duo of Joan Verdu, the former Espanyol captain, and Angel Dealbert.
Midfielder Verdu, a Barcelona reserve-team player who went on to play for Deportivo La Coruna, Espanyol and Betis, has signed a one-year deal, while centre back Dealbert, who spent three seasons at Valencia, has committed himself for two seasons.
The two 31-year-olds join Chile’s Carlos Munoz and South Korean Kim Jung-woo in Spaniard Luis Garcia’s squad, which left yesterday for their pre-season camp in Austria.
Meanwhile, the Ras Al Khaimah club Emirates have confirmed a one-year deal with Moroccan striker Youssef Kaddioui, which takes the foreign players on their books to five, with Issam Erraki, Brazilian Luiz Henrique, Argentine German Herrera and Rodrigo of East Timor being the others.
Emirates could add one more foreign player – Algerian international Medhi Lacen – to that list in the coming days and then finalise their quartet for the next season after returning from their pre-season camp in Germany.
If Lacen signs a deal, he will become the second member of Algeria’s 2014 World Cup team to appear in the Arabian Gulf League after captain Madjid Bougherra, who has extended his initial one-year deal with Fujairah to three years. The player, though, retains the right to terminate the contract in the event of Fujairah being relegated.
Another Algerian international, midfielder Karim Ziani, will be playing for Ajman after signing a one-year deal. The 31-year-old former Marseille and Wolfsburg player, who failed to find a place in Algeria’s 2014 World Cup squad, arrives on a free transfer after a season at Qatari club Al Arabi.
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