x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Al Shabab consider loan offers for sidelined Carlos Villanueva

The Chilean playmaker missed the first half of the season through injury and could be sent out on loan with the side's four foreign players performing well this term.

Al Shabab's Carlos Villanueva celebrates after scoring against Dubai.
Al Shabab's Carlos Villanueva celebrates after scoring against Dubai.

DUBAI // Al Shabab have received inquiries from Brazil and Chile for their playmaker Carlos Villanueva and the club are considering the offers.

The Chilean was an important cog in the Shabab midfield last season as they finished third in the Pro League.

But the former Blackburn Rovers man was forced to miss the first half of the season because of a cruciate ligament injury, which required surgery.

He is back at full fitness, but with all four of Shabab's foreign players performing well, he is unlikely to replace any one of them before the close of the January transfer window.

Hence, Abdullah Al Suwaidi, the director of professionalism at Shabab, revealed the club are considering those two offers, which would send Villanueva on loan until the end of the season.

Shabab, however, want their playmaker back in the team when the new season starts.

Nashat Akram, meanwhile, is considering his options after getting his official release from Al Nasr.

The Iraqi, Fifa's midfielder of the year in 2007, has been replaced by the Japanese striker Takayuki Morimoto in Walter Zenga's squad.

Akram had been training with Nasr even after Morimoto joined the team, but following a meeting with the club management on Sunday night, they have mutually agreed to dissolve the contract.

"The club have been fantastic in their dealings, especially Marwan bin Ghalita [the chairman of the board of directors]," Akram told reporters. "He told me I did not fail the team, but they had to release me due to the technical demands. The team needed an extra striker and that was the reason for the change.

"I am a free agent now and can go to any club I want, even after the transfer window closes. So I will wait for the right offer before making any decision."



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