x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Al Wahda tell Lyon to put in solid bid for Al Kamali

The French club have yet to match the Abu Dhabi club's asking price for the UAE defender.

Hamdan Al Kamali, right, has a contract with Al Wahda up to 2014, but has expressed his desire to play in Europe.
Hamdan Al Kamali, right, has a contract with Al Wahda up to 2014, but has expressed his desire to play in Europe.

Abu Dhabi // Hamdan Al Kamali's move to Lyon is on hold as the French giants have yet to meet Al Wahda's valuation of the player.

Lyon, the seven-times French champions, made a failed bid to sign the UAE defender in the summer and last week they came back with another offer.

The 22 year old trained with his team last night but was not available for comment. Josef Hickersberger, his coach, said last week that Al Kamali had told him last Thursday's derby at Al Jazira, a 4-2 defeat, would likely be his last for the club.

However, despite Al Kamali's desire to switch to Europe, Wahda are waiting for Lyon to match their price tag.

"The deal is not completely off but we have still not reached an agreement on some of the important issues," Khaled Awadh, the deputy chief executive of the club, said.

"Lyon sent us an offer letter but they don't mention about how much they are willing to pay. We have made it clear to them and they still haven't replied. That's why I say that they are not serious.

"We have no problems of releasing the player if they meet the price we want. They haven't even negotiated on the buyout. All we can say at the moment is that Hamdan is not leaving Wahda."

Awadh would not disclose the amount Wahda are looking for, but it is thought to be around Dh22 million.

Al Kamali, the UAE central defender and the Olympic team captain, has a contract with the Abu Dhabi club up to June 2014. The player has said previously his ambition was to play in Europe.

"We at the club would be the first to provide him with that opportunity," Awadh said. "We not only would allow him to fulfil his ambitions but we also wish he will be successful in Europe.

"But there is also a financial obligation that all concerned parties are aware should be fulfilled. Hamdan has a contract with the club and it is fair for whoever wants him to pay the club for what the player is worth. If they agree, then we have no issues."

Wahda play Al Wasl in the President's Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday and Al Kamali place in the side has become more important after Basheer Saeed, who plays alongside him, completed his move to Al Ahli. The Dubai club have paid Wahda Dh8m and the player Dh3.5m as part of the deal.

Josef Hickersberger said he had played no part in any negotiations between Lyon and Wahda.

"I am not a coach of the Premier League club," the Austrian said. "We work differently here and these matters are for the club management to decide, not the coach."

Meanwhile, Juan Ignacio Mercier, the Argentine midfielder, has arrived at Al Wasl from Al Nassr of Saudi Arabia as a replacement for Edson Puch, the Chilean, in the midseason transfer window.

"Mercier has completed the medical and has already started training with the first team," a spokesman for the club said.

"He is still not officially a player of Wasl because the paperwork is not complete. We expect to complete his signing soon and an official announcement made shortly.

"And on Edson, we have received several offers and that too will be finalised in due course. But these are changeable because nothing has been confirmed so far."

Diego Maradona, the Wasl coach who had a visit from Robin van Persie, the Arsenal striker, in training this week, has made no secret of his desire to offload both Puch and Richard Porta.

Mohammad Reza Khalatbari, the versatile Iranian midfielder, has already signed for the club to replace Porta - a dual Australian-Uruguayan national - as the club's Asian player.

Mercier has cut short a two-year deal with the Riyadh giants to join Maradona, who gave the 31-year-old midfielder his debut for Argentina when he was the national coach in 2010.

apassela@thenational.ae


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