x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Everton's Tim Cahill ponders Middle East move

The 32-year-old Australian International talks up chances of move to the Middle East.

Tim Cahill, Everton
Tim Cahill, Everton

Pro League clubs were put on alert yesterday after news Tim Cahill is considering leaving Everton for a new challenge in the Middle East.

Press Association Sport reported that the Australia international, who will be 33 in December, has already turned down a US$16 million (Dh58.766m)) three-year deal from an unnamed club in Saudi Arabia. Walter Smith, the former Everton manager, also turned down a move to manage a Saudi club last year.

Cahill has been linked to Al Nassr, the Saudi club, but is also reportedly attracting interest from other clubs in the region as well as China.

Cahill has two years remaining on his contract at Everton and is happy at the club he joined in 2004 but he would consider a move overseas. Several UAE clubs would no doubt be keen on making Cahill their one permitted Asian player in addition to the three foreign players they are allowed under Pro League Committee rules.

The free-scoring midfielder already has links to Dubai; he is a director of the multi-sport Elite Sporting Academy with his cousin John Mamea-Wilson.

"I am a massive fan of the Middle East, the cultures, the people," Cahill told the Australian Associated Press.

"I have travelled a lot and I respect them a lot. I know what the experience is like. I have lived and breathed it.

"I have played in two Asia Cups and I have got great connections with a lot of important people overseas.

"I come on holiday in the Middle East a lot and I embrace the weather and the culture."

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