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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 October 2018

Dubai coach Marsiglia hails signing of former Al Wahda midfielder Magrao

French manager says veteran Brazilian's experience will be invaluable to his young squad.
Magrao, left, joins Dubai after three seasons with Al Wahda, winning the title in 2009/10. Amy Leang / The National
Magrao, left, joins Dubai after three seasons with Al Wahda, winning the title in 2009/10. Amy Leang / The National

DUBAI // Rene Marsiglia has welcomed the addition of Magrao to his squad and the Dubai coach expects his new Brazilian recruit to play an "influential" role as his team bid to extend their stay in the Pro League to four consecutive seasons.

Magrao, 33, who had spent the last three seasons at Al Wahda and won the Pro League title with them in 2009/10, has moved to Dubai on a one-year deal, becoming the club's first new signing of the season.

Frenchman Marsiglia, who has replaced Ayman Al Ramadi at the club, believes Magrao's experience will be invaluable in complementing his young squad.

"Magrao will be an influential factor in the team because of his experience and great potential," Marsiglia said.

"He has played at a top club like Wahda for three years and won the league title with them, and I believe he is a great addition to the team."

Al Ahli and Emirates club, who are based in Ras Al Khaimah, were also interested Magrao after the end of his contract with Wahda, but the player's agent convinced the midfielder to accept Dubai's bid.

"My agent wanted me to choose Dubai because they are a young team with a lot of promise and potential," Magrao told the club's website.

"I respected his point of view and took the decision to sign with Dubai, without much regard for the material things."

Emirates, meanwhile, have signed Wahda defender Mohammed Osman on a one-year deal ahead of September's four-team play-offs.

Emirates will be competing with Sharjah, Al Shaab and Al Dhafra in the play-offs for two spots in the expanded 14-team Pro League this season.

Sharjah, on the other hand, have brought in Abdallah Issa from Al Ahli for their campaign.

He is their first official signing of the season; four Ahli players - Obaid Khalifa, Salmeen Khamis, Mohammed Yousuf and Badr Abdulrehman - are training with Faouzi Benzarti's team after moving to Sharjah on a one-year loan deal in exchange for Abdulaziz Sanqoor's move in the other direction.

That exchange deal has, however, been put on hold now after two others players that Ahli had promised for Sanqoor - Ahmed Khamis and Ali Hussein - refused to accept the move to Sharjah.

The two clubs have held discussions in recent days to resolve the situation.

Ahli are willing to offer two other players or give them money along with the four players.

Sharjah are studying the offers and will make a decision in the coming days.

Elsewhere, Al Nasr and Ali Abbas have agreed to terminate his contract by "mutual consent" with the midfielder expected to move to Al Wasl.

Abbas was made available by Nasr at the end of last season, along with defender Badr Yaqoot.

The club have, however, changed their decision on Yaqoot and he will continue with the team for next season.

* With agency