x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Al Wahda have ‘tentative deal’ to bring Tim Cahill to UAE

A Wahda club source says 'a tentative deal is in place' to bring the Australia and former Everton star to the Arabian Gulf League, with his Socceroos set to meet the UAE in the Asian Cup semi-finals on Tuesday.

Tim Cahill has scored three goals in four Asian Cup matches for Australia. Edgar Su / Reuters / January 22, 2015
Tim Cahill has scored three goals in four Asian Cup matches for Australia. Edgar Su / Reuters / January 22, 2015

While Tim Cahill will aim on Tuesday to wreck the UAE’s Asian Cup dreams, the Australian could be set to become a more familiar sight in the Emirates after reportedly agreeing a “tentative deal” to join Al Wahda.

Sources at the Abu Dhabi club have confirmed they are in talks with the 35-year-old striker, who has been with the MLS club New York Red Bulls since 2012 after spending eight seasons with English Premier League side Everton, and a formal agreement could be signed once the ongoing Asian Cup comes to an end on January 31.

Read more: The National’s Transfer Talk page

“Cahill’s performance at the Asian Cup and the World Cup last year has really caught the eye of the Wahda top management and we can say a tentative deal is in place,” the source said. “There is nothing formal yet though and we will have to wait until the end of the Asian Cup before a formal deal is signed.”

Cahill, who has one year remaining on his contract with New York, has appeared in three World Cups for Australia and last June in Brazil, he scored two goals, and is Australia’s top scorer at the current Asian Cup tournament, with three goals to his name.

Last year, the Aussie had hinted he would love to play for one of the Arabian Gulf League clubs in the future.

“The Middle East is growing and it’s somewhere that I enjoy coming to a lot and in the future it’s where I could possibly be playing football,” he said. “The UAE is such a fantastic country with great people and a great lifestyle as well. It’s something that’s really nice.”

If Cahill does sign for the club next month, he could arrive here as Wahda’s Asian player, which means Kuwaiti defender Hussain Fadhel would return home to Qadsia.

“Most probably, it is going to be Hussain Fadhel [to leave],” the source said. “But again, no decision has been made and anything could happen.”

arizvi@thenational.ae

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