x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Pro League champions Al Ain ready to recruit this summer

Pro League champions could augment the squad with up to six new faces for next season.

Al Ain coach Cosmin Olaroiu talks to defender Ismail Ahmed. Silvia Razgova / The National
Al Ain coach Cosmin Olaroiu talks to defender Ismail Ahmed. Silvia Razgova / The National

Al Ain could be set for a busy summer as the club look to add to this season's Pro League success.

The champions eased to a second successive top-flight title, securing the trophy last month with four matches remaining.

However, despite their relative comfort in the league, they stumbled in both domestic cup competitions, exiting the Etisalat Cup at the group stages and then losing their President's Cup semi-final with Al Ahli.

The Asian Champions League did not provide much joy, either, as Al Ain failed to emerge from Group D, despite targeting a prolonged run in the competition.

The club have already outlined plans to improve the squad next term, and seem keen to continue with their foreign contingent: Asamoah Gyan, Alex Brosque, Jires Kembo-Ekoko and Mirel Radoi.

Yet Mohammed Obaid Hammad, the first-team supervisor, suggested there may still be considerable change within the squad, especially once the dust settles on an 11th league crown.

"The foreign players all have contracts with the club, but that doesn't prevent the coach from sitting down to evaluate their performance," Obaid Hammad told Al Ittihad newspaper.

"In addition to that, there is the possibility to bring in a number of players from other clubs, and there could be up to six potential recruits for different positions in the team.

"However, as always, we will speak to each club to get their consent before making an approach for the players."

Doubts remain regarding the immediate futures of Omar Abdulrahman and Gyan, although both have hinted they plan to stay at the club.

 

jmcauley@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE