x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Sampdoria make move for Al Ahli's Luis Jiminez

Italian club offers Dh15m for Chilean midfielder, as Nasr land Mascara and Bruno Cesar.

Al Ahli's Luis Jiminez is a target for Sampdoria in Italy.
Al Ahli's Luis Jiminez is a target for Sampdoria in Italy.

DUBAI // Luis Jiminez could be heading back to Italy after just one season in the UAE following Sampdoria's bid for Al Ahli's Chilean midfielder.

Abdullah Saeed Al Naboodah, the chairman of Ahli, has confirmed Sampdoria have offered €3.5 million (Dh15.7m) for Jiminez, who is contracted to the Dubai club till 2015.

"I pledge I will do all I can to keep Luis at Ahli," Al Naboodah said on his Twitter account. "[But] the desire of the player determines his destination, whether to stay here or move to Sampdoria."

Jiminez, 28, has spent virtually his entire professional career in Italy since joining Ternana in 2002 and may view a return to Europe as an opportunity to resuscitate his international career.

Jiminez has not been picked for Chile since he came to Dubai. With the 2014 World Cup being held in Brazil, he is keen to be a part of the campaign.

Media reports in Chile have claimed he is ready to take a pay-cut if Sampdoria are unable to match his salary at Ahli.

Since his arrival in Dubai, Jiminez has received several offers from European clubs, but at the end of the season, the Chilean announced he will be staying at Ahli as his family is happy here and does not want to move back to Italy.

Al Naboodahhas confirmed Brazilian striker Grafite, who scored 31 goals last season, and Lebanese defender Youssef Mohamad will be staying on. The chairman also said there had been "considerable progress" in their talks with Saudi club Al Hilal for Cameroonian midfielder Achille Emana, who impressed during his six-month loan spell in Ahli.

Sharjah, meanwhile, have announced their first signings ahead of September's four-team play-offs, where they will compete with Al Shaab, Emirates and Al Dhafra for two Pro League spots.

Ahli defender Salmeen Khamis and goalkeeper Mohamed Yousif have signed one-year loan deals with Sharjah, who finished at the bottom of the Pro League last season. Four other Ahli players - Bader Abdulrehman, Obaid Khalifa, midfielders Ali Hussain and Ahmed Khamis - are also expected to move to Sharjah on loan for a year as part of an exchange deal for Abdulaziz Sanqour, the Olympic team defender.

Sharjah are also negotiating with Al Nasr over deals for Bader Yaqoot and Ali Abbas, who have been put on the transfer market by Walter Zenga's club.

The club have released 15 players from last season and are trying to build a new squad under Tunisian coach Faouzi Benzarti, who is expected to decide the fate of his two Brazilian striker Edinho and Marcelinho.

Elsewhere, Nasr have completed their quartet of foreign players for next season with the signing of Giuseppe Mascara from Italian club Novara and Brazilian striker Bruno Cesar.

Mascara, 32, has been given a two-year contract at the club, while Cesar, 26, has signed a dealfor this season.

The deals for Mascara and Cesar, who won the Iranian league title with Sepahan last season, were announced after Nasr failed in their bid to get Palermo striker Fabrizio Miccoli.

"We would like to point out that the club had been in serious negotiations with Fabrizio Miccoli," the club on their Twitter account.

"But the negotiations did not succeed because of Palermo's determination to hold on to the player for another season."