x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Omar Abdulrahman in no hurry to leave Al Ain for Europe regardless of club's results

The UAE national team star says that with three years remaining on his Al Ain contract he is in no hurry to find employment in Europe. John McAuley reports.

Though some European teams have approached Al Ain about his availability, Omar Abdulrahman says he is in no hurry to leave and that he has a three-year contract with the Garden City club.
Though some European teams have approached Al Ain about his availability, Omar Abdulrahman says he is in no hurry to leave and that he has a three-year contract with the Garden City club.

DUBAI // Omar Abdulrahman says Al Ain's elimination from the Asian Champions League will not accelerate his departure from the club.

The Emirati's future has been the subject of much conjecture this season, with a series of superb performances for both club and country reportedly alerting some of Europe's most established clubs to his talents.

Abdulrahman is widely expected to become the first UAE player to feature permanently in a top overseas league, and in January reportedly rejected the opportunity to join Portugal's Benfica on a season-long loan.

Al Ain have openly welcomed interest and last month were said to be hosting officials from a prominent Spanish club, with the view to a transfer.

On Monday Abdulrahman, speaking on the sidelines of a promotional event for the upcoming Fifa Under 17 World Cup, of which he is an ambassador, said that delegates from Valencia had recently visited Al Ain to watch him, although the club would not confirm the claim.

However, the 21-year-old playmaker reiterated his intention to remain in the Garden City if a suitable offer is not forthcoming, that despite Al Ain's exit earlier this month from the Champions League at the group stage.

"I'm still young, so the Champions League result doesn't affect my decision," Abdulrahman said. "I'm still going to stick around with Al Ain, and in the future if I get any offers from outside, I will definitely consider them. But for now, I am young, I have my life ahead of me so there is still time to go professional or leave the club altogether."

Despite the disappointment in Asia, 2012/13 has still been a relatively prosperous campaign for Abdulrahman. The attacking midfielder played an integral role in Al Ain's retention of the Pro League title, which saw the club become the first in the professional era to successfully defend the trophy.

"It's been a great season and my contract with the club is for the next two years, so I hope to remain here for that time," Abdulrahman said.

"But I am definitely open to the idea of a move abroad."

 

Additional reporting by Gary Meenaghan

 

jmcauley@thenational.ae

 

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