x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Egyptian Aboutrika in Red Knights' radar

Mohammed Aboutrika could be Pro League's biggest attraction in the coming season, with champions Al Ahli reportedly in pursuit of the playmaker.

DUBAI // Mohammed Aboutrika of Egypt could be Pro League's biggest attraction in the coming season, with champions Al Ahli reportedly in pursuit of the playmaker. The 30-year-old, who has a legion of fans in Africa and the Arab world, is one of Ahli's top targets as the Red Knights strengthen their squad for next season when Ahli are to make an appearance alongside world famous clubs like Barcelona in December's Fifa Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi.

Aboutrika is with the Egyptian team Al Ahly, who recently won their fifth consecutive league title as well as the African Super Cup earlier in the year. According to sources, the player is keen on a move to the UAE champions, who also boast of Aboutrika's Egyptian national teammate Hosni Abd Rabo. Negotiations are ongoing but Ahly are reluctant to let the player leave. Abdulmajeed Hussain, supervisor of Ahli's first team, was evasive when asked about their interest in the 2008 BBC African Footballer of the Year, saying time will reveal their fourth foreign professional for the forthcoming season.

"We are looking for a special player who can help the team in the next season," he said. "We have our own requirements and we hope to find the right player. "You will know about the identity of our fourth foreign professional over the next few days. So let's just wait and see. "We feel that we need a top-quality playmaker who can assist strikers, score goals and play in two or three different positions.

"We are not in a hurry, but we are focusing on some players and I believe that we will reach an agreement with the players in good time." Ahli have retained the services of Egypt's Hosni and Brazilian Bare, while allowing Clederson Cesar and Milad Meydavoudi to leave. arizvi@thenational.ae