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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

Ahmed Khalil ready for 'new challenge' after finally completing loan move to Al Ain

UAE striker has had a season to forget so far since joining Al Jazira last summer but is focused on titles and success with the Garden City club.

Ahmed Khalil poses next to the Al Ain badge after completing a loan move to the club. Courtesy Al Ain Football Club
Ahmed Khalil poses next to the Al Ain badge after completing a loan move to the club. Courtesy Al Ain Football Club

UAE striker Ahmed Khalil is targeting more domestic and continental titles after finally sealing a loan move to Arabian Gulf League leaders Al Ain from Al Jazira.

Khalil, 26, was expected to complete his transfer to Al Ain on the final day of the winter transfer window last week, although complications regarding the paperwork meant the move was not cleared by the UAE Football Association.

However, the complication has since been cleared up and Fifa, world football’s governing body, permitted the deal to go through on Sunday, with Khalil officially presented as an Al Ain player on Monday. The six-month loan deal is understood to be worth Dh900,000.

“I am very proud to be joining Al Ain, the club that every local and continental football player wishes to join,” Khalil said on Monday.

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“I would also like to thank the management of Al Jazira Club for facilitating my transfer so I can achieve my ambitions in the next phase of my football career and write new lines.

“At Al Ain I wish for more achievements and championships at the local and continental levels.”

Khalil has endured a frustrating season so far having joined Jazira on a free transfer last summer from Al Ahli – now known as Shabab Al Ahli Dubai following the merger of the Dubai clubs last year.

The UAE forward made just two substitute appearances for Jazira, last coming in September and has since been involved in a contract dispute with the Abu Dhabi club.

Khalil was involved in the UAE squad that reached the final of the Gulf Cup of Nations in Kuwait earlier this month, but was restricted to one appearance from the bench.

“I thank God for the completion of the deal, after going through the most difficult moments in my football career in the past few days, especially after I was informed that the registration was incomplete under the pretext of a salary cap,” Khalil said.

“I never was thinking of the money because my focus was to get ready on the new challenge with great desire because I know very well the value and status of my new club.

“Firstly, I have the opportunity to play for one of the best clubs in Asia, and that’s the reality.”

Khalil’s arrival follows that of Egyptian winger Hussein El Shahat, who completed his move to Al Ain in the final days of the winter transfer window.

Mohammed Obaid Hammad, a member of Al Ain’s board of directors, said Khalil will be a big asset to the club.

“Ahmed is one of the few strikers in the country who has the ability to make it into any teams - not only in the country but also at any team in Asian,” he said.

“There is a process and we had to complete those in order to sign the player. But all is well that ends well. We are happy and the player is happy, that’s what matter at the end.”

Al Ain lead the Arabian Gulf League standings by two points over nearest challengers Al Wahda. Their next league game is against Hatta at the Hazza bin Zayed stadium on Sunday.