x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Prolific Ibrahima Toure on verge of move to France

Ibrahima Toure has flown to France for a medical, making his departure from Ajman imminent; Al Ahli are trying to sign coach Quique Flores to a long-term contract.

It appears that Ibrahima Toure, left, is running out on Ajman and on his way to Monaco in the French Ligue 2.
It appears that Ibrahima Toure, left, is running out on Ajman and on his way to Monaco in the French Ligue 2.

DUBAI // Ibrahima Toure has flown to France to undergo a medical at Monaco ahead of a move to the French Ligue 2 club after getting the approval from the management at Ajman.

The Senegalese striker, who arrived in the summer after four successful years in Iran, has been one of the most impressive foreign recruits of the season, scoring seven goals for Ajman in the Pro League.

He struck eight more in the Etisalat Cup, including a hat-trick against Sharjah.

The 26 year old's exploits made him a target for some of the bigger Pro League club, but Toure, a product of the youth academy at the French club, Metz, is looking to continue his career in Europe.

"The transaction has been concluded and this is Toure's last appearance with Ajman," Abdul Wahab Abdul Kader, the Ajman coach, said after his team's 4-1 Pro League loss at Al Ain on Saturday.

"We will miss him, but we must respect his choice.

"During the last three or four games, he was not mentally there and could not concentrate. He wanted to leave and the club decided to let him go."

With Toure's departure now confirmed, Ajman will be looking for two foreign players in this transfer window as they have also decided on releasing Olivier Tia, another Ivorian forward.

"We might reveal two important contracts very soon," Abdul Kader said.

Al Ahli have offered a one-year extension to their coach, Quique Sanchez Flores, hoping to keep him at the Rashid Stadium until the end of the 2013 season.

The Spaniard, who replaced Ivan Hasek at the club in November, had signed a contract to the end of the current campaign.

The former Getafe, Valencia, Benfica and Atletico Madrid manager took over the reins at a struggling club but has slowly started to turn Ahli's fortunes around despite playing without his full quota of foreign players, although the club are still 14 points behind the leaders, Al Ain, in seventh place.

A former Spain international and Valencia player, Sanchez Flores has been linked with different European clubs since his arrival in Dubai.

The Brazilian Jakson Coelho, left Ahli for home in December, while Luis Jimenez and Youssef Mohammed have spent more time on the treatment table than on the pitch, leaving Grafite as the only regular starter among the foreign professionals at Ahli.

Jimenez, the club's Chilean playmaker, has turned down a loan move to the Qatar side Al Ahli, preferring to stay in Dubai.

Officials from Qatar's Ahli had met Ahmed Khalifa Hammad, the chief executive of Dubai's Ahli, to discuss a deal.

They were keen on signing Jimenez as a replacement for the Swede, Christian Wilhelmsson, the former Roma and Bolton Wanderers winger, who has returned to Saudi club Al Hilal after spending six months on loan in Qatar.

Ahli, however, want to keep Jimenez and the Chilean does not want a move away.

 

arizvi@thenational.ae