x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Al Wasl target Uruguayan forward Emiliano Alfaro

Paid loan deal and purchase agreement being discussed for the 24-year-old striker to partner Faisal Khalil.

Lazio’s Emiliano Alfaro, centre, is on the radar of Al Wasl’s new manager Bruno Metsu.
Lazio’s Emiliano Alfaro, centre, is on the radar of Al Wasl’s new manager Bruno Metsu.

DUBAI // Al Wasl are in talks with Emiliano Alfaro, the Uruguayan striker currently playing for the Italian side Lazio, as they seek to fill their foreign quota.

The Pro League club are looking for a forward to complement Faisal Khalil, the UAE striker who joined on loan this summer from Al Ahli, and have turned their attentions to Alfaro after failing to seal deals for a number of other options.

Alfaro is understood to want to leave the Stadio Olimpico having struggled to hold down a first-team role since January, when he completed a €3 million (Dh14m) move from Liverpool, a club in Uruguay's Primera Division.

A one-year loan deal, said to be worth Dh2.3m, has been mooted, although there is an option to buy the 24 year old for Dh16.5m.

Vincenzo D'Ippolito, the player's representative, confirmed discussions would accelerate once Alfaro returns from Uruguay today.

"There is talk of a paid loan move," D'Ippolito told Cittaceleste, an Italian football website.

"You'd have to ask Lazio what the exact figures are. Now we are waiting for the lad to return from international duty in Uruguay and then we'll conclude the negotiations, one way or another."

Bruno Metsu, the Wasl head coach, has been steadily rebuilding his squad since replacing Diego Maradona at the Zabeel Stadium in July. Aside from Khalil, the Frenchman has concentrated on overhauling the club's foreign contingent and has already secured Mahmoud Abdel Razek Shikabala, the Egyptian midfielder, and Lucas Neill, the Australia national team captain.

Shikabala joined on a season-long loan from the Egyptian side Zamalek, while Neill, who spent last year at Al Jazira, returned to the UAE despite offers from Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Mariano Dondo, the Argentine playmaker, and Edison Puch, from Chile, make up the Dubai club's four allocated overseas players, yet Metsu plans to sell the latter to make room for a striker.

Wasl had identified as targets Afonso Alves, the former Heerenveen and Middlesbrough forward, and Emmanuel Clottey, the Ghana international, but both players completed transfers to other clubs this week.

Alfaro has therefore emerged as a potential signing, despite the South American making only eight appearances in Serie A. He did excel at Liverpool, though, netting 41 times in 107 games for the Montevideo-based team.

Alvaro, who also holds an Italian passport, has represented Uruguay once, although he was included in their provisional squad for Tuesday's 2014 World Cup qualifier against Ecuador.

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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