x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Arabian Gulf League: Al Ahli make a move for Al Shabab's Ciel

Al Shabab are contemplating selling Ciel, their dynamic Brazilian striker, to Dubai rivals Al Ahli, reports John McAuley.

Jociel Ferreira da Silva (Ciel) make an attempt on goal during the Semi-Final Pro League football match between Al Shabab (green) v Ajman (orange) at Shabab's Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium on 25.03.2013. Ashraf Umrah / Al Ittihad
Jociel Ferreira da Silva (Ciel) make an attempt on goal during the Semi-Final Pro League football match between Al Shabab (green) v Ajman (orange) at Shabab's Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium on 25.03.2013. Ashraf Umrah / Al Ittihad

DUBAI // Al Shabab are contemplating selling Ciel, their dynamic Brazilian striker, to Dubai rivals Al Ahli.

The Rashid bin Maktoum Stadium side have received an approach from Ahli, with reports suggesting Walid Abbas, Shabab's best defender, has also been targeted by their ambitious neighbours.

The potential transfer of either player would represent something of a surprise, especially given their contribution to Shabab's excellent 2012/13 campaign.

Ciel was a particular standout, scoring 15 goals, as coach Marcos Paqueta's men not only finished fifth in the Pro League, but were runners-up to Ahli in the President's Cup. Shabab also were the UAE's sole representative in the knockout stages of the Asian Champions League.

"Until now nothing has been agreed, but we are waiting for 24 hours," said a Shabab official. "We have simply discussed the transfer. The club would want a very big price for Ciel, and then for two or three players to come from Ahli.

"At the moment, Ahli have only made an offer and we are reviewing it."

Should the move happen, it likely will rank among the most expensive transfers between UAE clubs.

However, Shabab have yet to determine whether the financial windfall would outweigh the damage it could do to their 2013/14 ambitions.

Shabab apparently have a list of alternatives to Ciel in place, after an approach by Al Nasr last month.

Ahli are in the market for a final foreign player, despite currently having five on the roster.

The new signing Hugo Viana joins Grafite and Luis Jimenez, the midfielder who now qualifies for their Asian spot as certainties for next season.

Internationals Achille Emana and Ricardo Quaresma would be allowed to leave, should a suitable bid be forthcoming.

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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