x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Spanish clubs on the agenda for Al Ain

Al Ain will face Rayo Vallecano and Atletico Madrid during their training camp in Spain as they embark on the final stage of their pre-season.

Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, April 12 2012, Al Ain Training- Al Ain's Head Coach Cosmin Olaroiu during training session in Al Ain. Mike Young / The National?
Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, April 12 2012, Al Ain Training- Al Ain's Head Coach Cosmin Olaroiu during training session in Al Ain. Mike Young / The National?

AL AIN // Al Ain will face Rayo Vallecano and Atletico Madrid during their training camp in Spain as they embark on the final stage of their pre-season.

The Pro League champions, who arrived in Madrid on Tuesday and yesterday began their 15-day programme with a double training session, have organised two friendly matches with Primera Liga sides, with a possible third to be announced before they return to the UAE on September 5. They take on Vallecano next Wednesday, with Atletico Madrid, the Europa League champions, to follow on September 4.

Al Ain began pre-season last month with a 10-day camp in Austria before participating in a four-team tournament at home, won by Saudi champions Al Shabab.

Cosmin Olaroiu, the coach, hopes to welcome two new foreign signings to the group in Spain, with Al Ain in advanced negotiations with replacements for Yasser Al Qahtani and Ignacio Scocco, who left the club at the end of last season.

Lyon's Michel Bastos, and Park Chu-young, the South Korean forward at Arsenal, are believed to be the two in question.

"Now the team need only two foreign players and there are serious attempts from the board of directors, chaired by Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed, to finish the deals, so everyone is waiting for them to join us sooner," said Matar Al Sahbani, the team manager.

Of the season-opening Super Cup encounter with Al Jazira on September 15, he added: "Al Ain decides the priorities before the start of each season and we know the importance of winning the Super Cup."

While the camp promises to be a taxing one, Al Ain's players will be rewarded for their efforts with a trip to the Bernabeu on September 4 to watch Real Madrid battle Barcelona in the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup.

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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