x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Arabian Gulf League: Al Ain manager Jorge Fossati starting to clean house

The league champions are preparing for their first season under the experienced Uruguayan, who made it a priority to assess his latest resources, writes John McAuley.

The league champions are preparing for their first season under Jorge Fossati, who made it a priority to assess his latest resources. Courtesy photo
The league champions are preparing for their first season under Jorge Fossati, who made it a priority to assess his latest resources. Courtesy photo

Al Ain are prepared to listen to offers for a number of fringe players, as recommended by Jorge Fossati, their new manager.

The UAE champions are currently preparing for a first season under the experienced Uruguayan, who last month succeeded Cosmin Olaroiu as coach.

Upon arrival, Fossati made it a priority to assess his latest resources, as the club's board worked to finally conclude a deal to bring Michel Bastos, a long-time target, to the Garden City.

The acquisition of Bastos, from French side Lyon, means Jires Kembo Ekoko is now considered surplus to requirements, with Al Ain considering various requests to take the striker either permanently or on loan.

Just this week, Bandar Al Hababi returned to Al Dhafra for another season-long loan, although the Western Region club decided against extending deals for Hamad Al Marri and Hadaf Al Ameri. Al Ain hope to find other clubs for the duo.

"The club management is now looking at offers to either loan or sell the players not chosen by Fossati, but only in a way that benefits both the club and the players," said team supervisor, Mohammed Obaid Hammad.

"Fossati's choices came as a result of his complete evaluation of the squad. He was given all of Al Ain matches from last season to check the players' levels. His decision was made as best fits the style and tactics he wants to team to play."

Meanwhile, Al Ain decided against playing friendlies with Napoli and Roma during their training camp in Austria.

They have two matches scheduled for next week, and hope to have Alex Brosque and a collection of other rehabilitated players ready to feature following their return to training. Omar Abdulrahman, though, has been given a special training programme after sustaining light bruising on his ankle.

jmcauley@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE