Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 22 May 2019

Babel to Turkey, Sow to stay at Ahli? Five potential AGL transfers this January

With the January transfer window now open we take a look at some of the players who could be on their way in and out of the Arabian Gulf League this month.

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Who to replace Vucinic?

Al Jazira’s woes began before Mirko Vucinic sustained a season-ending knee injury in November, but the Abu Dhabi club needed reinforcements up front anyway. Currently, they sit 10th in the table. Replacing the division’s top scorer from last season will not be easy, so Jazira have cast the net far and wide. A striker with English Premier League experience could be the answer.

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Is Sow’s future at Ahli?

Much has been made about Moussa Sow’s early struggles at Al Ahli. The Senegalese forward, recruited for a record €16 million (Dh64m) fee in September, has had trouble adapting to UAE football, scoring five times in 16 appearances. It has prompted talk of a swift return to Europe. However, both Sow and Ahli have apparently resolved to make his time with the club work.

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Are UAE stars on the move?

Two of the UAE’s leading lights, Amer Abdulrahman and Khamis Esmail, are rumoured to be set for transfers this month, although Baniyas insist Abdulrahman will remain at the club. Al Jazira and Al Ain were said to be interested. As for Esmail, it seems increasingly likely the midfielder will soon swap allegiances, with Al Ahli thought to be a likely destination.

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Where next for Babel?

Ryan Babel has endured a miserable few months at Al Ain, with several off-field problems limiting his time on the pitch. In eight league appearances, the former Liverpool forward has scored once. Expected to move back to Turkey, where Babel was signed this summer, from Kasimpasa, with Galatasaray keen, although there are reportedly problems regarding the terms of the deal.

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Will Diop finally leave Dhafra?

Makhete Diop has been one of the most reliable goalscorers in the UAE these past few seasons, notching 58 times in 84 league matches for Al Dhafra. Despite recently signing a contract extension to 2018, the Senegalese striker wants to test himself at a more prominent club and, although Dhafra aim to keep him, his release clause is reportedly US$5 million (Dh18.3m). Al Nasr have been interested, but they seem set to stick with Nilmar.​

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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Updated: January 4, 2016 04:00 AM

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