x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Pro League round-up: Nasr stand firm on Bresciano

Al Nasr deny media reports the Australian midfielder is in Doha in talks with Al Gharafa, Zamalek accept improved Al Wasl bid for Shikabala and Sharjah recruit Ghanaian.

Mark Bresciano has reportedly been in Doha holding talks with Al Gharafa. Mike Young / The National
Mark Bresciano has reportedly been in Doha holding talks with Al Gharafa. Mike Young / The National

DUBAI // Al Nasr have denied claims that Mark Bresciano, their Australian midfielder, has left the club and plans to join the Qatari side Al Gharafa.

The 32 year old topped the club scoring charts last season as they finished second in the Pro League behind Al Ain, but reports in the media say Bresciano has left Nasr's pre-season camp and is in Doha to negotiate a deal with Gharafa.

He has, according to Al Khaleej, the Arabic daily, informed Walter Zenga, the Nasr coach, about his decision to leave and terminate his contract with Nasr. But Nasr are determined to hold the player to the final year of his contract.

"Mark Bresciano's contract with Al Nasr is valid for another season and the football company has not received any requests from any clubs asking for the services of the player," Arif Abbas, the director of football at Nasr, said. "The clubs and players are bound by contracts governed by the regulations of the UAE Football Association and Fifa, and these contracts shape the relationship between the club and the player."

Reports of Bresciano pressing for a move have been circling since the end of the season. Last month, reports claimed the player's representitives sent a notice to the club seeking the termination of their contract and the player's willingness to pay the penalty clause, a reported US$1.36 million (Dh4.9m).

Elsewhere, the Egyptian club Zamalek have reportedly accepted Al Wasl's improved offer for midfielder Mahmoud Abdel Razek "Shikabala" and the two clubs are working to formalise the loan deal.

Wasl had initially offered $800,000 for Shikabala, who has been out of favour at the club since his clash with then Zamalek coach Hassan Shehata following a substitution at a game earlier this year. The Egyptians turned down Wasl's offer on Friday and asked them to come up with an improved bid.

"Zamalek have asked Al Wasl to up their bid," Ibrahim Youssef, a member of the Zamalek board, was quoted as saying on the club's website. "We have set a $1.5 million as price tag to loan out Shikabala for one season."

Sharjah, meanwhile, have signed a two-year deal with Moussa Narry from Le Mans. Sharjah's new coach, Faouzi Benzarti, has convinced the Ghanaian international, 26, was playing at the French club to move to the Emirates and help the team's bid for a return to the Pro League.

Sharjah finished bottom of the league last season, but have a chance of returning to the top division when they meet Al Shaab, Al Dhafra and Emirates in the play-offs in September. The Pro League has been increased to 14 teams and two teams from these play-offs will be promoted.

arizvi@thenational.ae

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