x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Wahda confirm Baiano signing

nando Baiano, top-scorer in the inaugural Pro League season, will join Al Wahda in time for their July 24-Aug 16 summer training camp in Germany.

ABU DHABI // Fernando Baiano, top-scorer in the inaugural Pro League season, will join Al Wahda in time for their July 24-Aug 16 summer training camp in Germany. Baiano, 30, who scored 35 goals in all competitions for Al Jazira last season, signed a three-year contract with city rivals Wahda after completing the medical tests on Saturday. He flew home to Brazil early yesterday.

Wahda signed Baiano following a breakdown in his negotiations with Jazira, to whom the striker was loaned from the Spanish club Real Murcia. Jazira offered a two-year contract worth ?5million (Dh25.79m) but the player demanded a three-year contract for ?9m. Wahda's assistant chief executive Khaled Awadh said they paid less than what the player had demanded from Jazira, refusing, however, to disclose the amount.

"We respect the player's request not to reveal the financial part of the deal," said Awadh. "The important thing is we are both happy. We signed a player with a proven record in the country and Baiano was happy to accept the offer." Wahda are yet to sign their third foreign professional and Awadh said: "We are in talks with a Uruguayan player. If this deal comes through, we will have our quota of foreign professionals before we regroup for a training camp.

"But it is too early to say anything more than that for the moment." Wahda have retained their Brazilian midfielder, Pinga, with a one-year contract besides signing the Omani international Hassan Mudhafer for one year. This comes after the Asian Football Confederation's "three plus one" policy whereby clubs are allowed to buy a professional of Asian origin apart from the three foreigners. Al Wahda have also added Al Ain goalkeeper Mutaz Abdulla, 34, and Al Dhafra midfielder Yaqoob Hammadi, 22, to their squad.

Abdulla has agreed to a two-year deal while Hammadi has been tied to a three-year contract. apassela@thenational.ae