x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Pro League: Al Ahli to transfer Ricardo Quaresma to Galatasaray

After they signed Ricardo Quaresma in January, Al Ahli may transfer the Portuguese winger to Galatasaray in Turkey, reports John McAuley.

Ricardo Quaresma has scored just two goals since he joined Al Ahli in January and the club may transfer him to Turkey. Jake Badger for The National
Ricardo Quaresma has scored just two goals since he joined Al Ahli in January and the club may transfer him to Turkey. Jake Badger for The National

DUBAI // Al Ahli are believed to be in negotiations with Galatasaray, the reigning Turkish champions, regarding the transfer of Ricardo Quaresma.

The Portuguese winger has proved only a fleeting success since his January switch from Besiktas, another prominent club in Turkey's Super Lig, and has featured in 10 Pro League matches, scoring two goals.

He did, however, notch the winner in the President's Cup quarter-final victory against Dibba Al Fujairah in February.

It is understood that Ahli want to generate funds from the sale of Quaresma to push forward the purchase of another Portuguese player, Hugo Viana, the Braga midfielder who counts among his former clubs Newcastle United and Valencia.

The asking price for Quaresma, 29, currently stands at €3 million (Dh14.1m), which would represent a shrewd piece of business, considering the former Porto, Barcelona, Inter Milan and Chelsea star arrived at the Rashid Stadium on a free transfer.

He had been released by Besiktas midway through the Turkish season, and signed an 18-month contract at Ahli with the option of another 12 months.

At his official introduction, he was characterized by Ahli as "maybe [the Pro League's biggest signing] for the whole of 2013", Quaresma's impact has been minimal.

The playmaker has often looked lacking in fitness and match sharpness, and reportedly sat out Saturday's 3-0 victory against Ajman because of injury.

Ahmed Khalifa, the Ahli chief executive, refused to comment on the speculation, adding only that the club are concentrating on this week's conclusion of the league season and the President's Cup final against Al Shabab on May 28.

"I don't have any details," he said when asked about Quaresma's situation. "Maybe there has been a direct offer to the chairman, but I have no idea. Everything is focused on the next match and then the President's Cup final. Maybe after that, things regarding potential transfers will become clearer."

Whatever happens during the next eight days, Ahli seem set for a busy summer.

The 2009 champions have yet to convince Quique Sanchez Flores, the manager, to commit to a contract extension - the Spaniard wishes to discuss his future only when the 2012/13 campaign has finished - while Yousef Mohammed, the Lebanon defender, is expected to leave the club.

Ahli could, though, sign Ibrahim Diaky after reportedly expressing an interest in the veteran Al Jazira midfielder. An official approach is thought to have already been made, with the player said to be keen to push through the deal.

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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