x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Arabian Gulf League: Amer Abdulrahman to return to Baniyas after Blackburn trial

Amer Abdulrahman, a star on the UAE national team, was bidding to become the first Emirati to permanently ply his trade in Europe but he's headed back to Abu Dhabi, writes John McAuley.

Baniyas midfielder Amer Abdulrahman, right, has spent the past eight days training with Blackburn Rovers with a view of securing a long-term transfer. Luong Thai Linh / EPA
Baniyas midfielder Amer Abdulrahman, right, has spent the past eight days training with Blackburn Rovers with a view of securing a long-term transfer. Luong Thai Linh / EPA

Blackburn Rovers do not anticipate retaining Amer Abdulrahman beyond his current trial period, the English club's manager has confirmed.

The Baniyas midfielder has spent the past eight days training at the Championship side, with a view to securing a long-term transfer.

Abdulrahman, a star on the UAE national team, was bidding to become the first Emirati to permanently ply his trade in Europe. However, it seems he will see out the remainder of his two-week trial and then return to Abu Dhabi.

"He's just going to be here for another couple of days; it was just a look, really," the Blackburn manager, Gary Bowyer, told the Lancashire Telegraph.

The Englishman did not expand on whether Abdulrahman had impressed during his time at the club, although with Blackburn pursuing Aston Villa's Barry Bannan, perhaps they felt there was no need for further reinforcement in midfield.

For their part, Baniyas have yet to receive any confirmation from Blackburn.

The capital club expect to be formally notified of a decision within the next few days and are ready to welcome Abdulrahman, 24, back to the Baniyas Stadium.

Baniyas have always stressed the arrangement was an "experiment", stating the experience would be integral to the player's development.

Even if the transfer does transpire, Abdulrahman is viewed as one of a number of UAE players who could secure a move abroad.

Al Ain's Omar Abdulrahman and Al Ahli's Ahmed Khalil are frequently noted as the other obvious candidates. Omar underwent a similar trial last summer at Manchester City.

Australian Billy Celeski targeted by Al Shaab

Al Shaab hope to conclude their search for an Asian expatriate by signing the Australian midfielder Billy Celeski to a one-year deal. The Sharjah-based club earlier failed in an attempt to secure the services of Nick Carle, formerly of Baniyas.

Celeski has spent the past five years with the Melbourne Victory, for whom he had two goals in 91 games.

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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