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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 June 2018

AGL champions Al Jazira agree to sign Brazilian forward Romarinho

Romarinho will arrive at reigning Arabian Gulf League champions as replacement for another Brazilian, Leonardo.

Romarinho, right, seen in action for El Jaish against Al Ain last season, will face the Garden City club in an Al Jazira shirt in 2017/18. Karim Jaafar / AFP
Romarinho, right, seen in action for El Jaish against Al Ain last season, will face the Garden City club in an Al Jazira shirt in 2017/18. Karim Jaafar / AFP

Al Jazira have agreed to sign Brazilian forward Romarinho to land their fourth foreign player of the season.

Romarinho, 26, arrives at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium as a free agent after a four-year spell at Qatar’s El Jaish.

He will replace compatriot Leonardo who is surplus to requirements after serving only six months of his two-and-a-half-year contract at the Arabian Gulf League champions, since moving over from last year's Asian Champions League winners, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors of South Korea.

Romarinho scored 40 Qatar Stars League goals in 72 appearances after he moved from the Brazilian side Corinthians in September 2014.

With his signing, the Abu Dhabi club have filled out their quota of four foreign players, having already brought in France international Lassana Diarra and Uzbekistan international Sardor Rashidov. They have retained Mbark Boussoufa, the Moroccan playmaker who joined the club in July 2016 following spells at Belgian’s Gent and Anderlecht, and Russian sides Anzhi Makhachkala and Lokomotiv Moscow.

The club have also roped in the UAE international and Al Ahli striker Ahmed Khalil, the 2015 Asian Player of the Year and the second top-scorer with 15 goals in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

Meanwhile Henk ten Cate, the Dutch manager who led them to the President’s Cup title last year and league silverware in 2016/17 during his 18-month spell at the club, has been handed another one-year extension.

Jazira will be challenging for the Asian Champions League and four domestic titles – Arabian Gulf League, Super Cup, Arabian Gulf Cup and President’s Cup.

They will also have an opportunity to brush shoulders against Real Madrid in the Club World Cup when the event is staged in Abu Dhabi in December.

Jazira’s qualification for the tournament, however, will depend on who will win the Champions League title. Should Al Ain lift the trophy, the runner-up of the continental championship will replace them at the Club World Cup.

Al Jazira's foreign quartet for 2017/18

Romarinho, Brazil

Lassana Diarra, France

Sardor Rashidov, Uzbekistan

Mbark Boussoufa, Morocco