Branko takes charge
Branko Ivankovic arrived in Abu Dhabi on Sunday to take charge of his new club Al Wahda.
Ivankovic will begin preparations for the new season from Monday after the players undergo their medicals.
The medical examinations will run until July 15. The squad will begin training after the medical and will continue till August 9.
Al Wahda also plan to host a pre-season international friendly tournament from August 17. The tournament will feature six teams and Al Wahda are in contact with other Arab clubs for the tournament.
Thereafter, Al Wahda will head to Germany for their pre-season training camp from August 22 to September 11.
A club source said that they are on the look out for a defensive midfielder and they will make an announcement shortly.
Al Wahda off loaded their three Brazilians Fernando Baiano, Hugo and Magrao.
Interest in ValeriPresident’s Cup winners Al Jazira have denied that there has been interest in Australian midfielder Carl Valeri.
News reports said that Valeri, nicknamed ‘Mini Vinnie,’ after Vince Grella, will be moving to the UAE. The reports also said that the defensive midfielder had received an offer from a big club in the UAE and the deal was almost done. Al Jazira and 10-time League champions Al Ain are on the look out for an Asian player after the departure of defender Lucas Neill and forward Yasser Al Qahtani respectively.
But Al Jazira have denied that they are in negotiations with the player.
“These are just rumours. Most of the club management are on holiday. I’m not aware of any negotiations with the Valeri or with any other candidates. The club management will make a decision on the Asian player and will make an announcement before Ramadan,” a club source told the Khaleej Times on Sunday.
“The news report said that a big club is interested in him. There are other clubs like Al Wasl, Al Ahli, Al Nasr, Al Shabab who could be interested. Even Al Ain, who are in the AFC Champions League, could also be that big club because they too are in need of an Asian player,” the source added. Valeri currently plays for Italian Serie B club Sassuolo.
Walid AbbasUAE international Walid Abbas has pledged his future at Dubai-based Al Shabab despite interest from city rivals Al Ahli.
Abbas still has a year left on his contract but has now confirmed that he will stay after receiving a renewal offer from Al Shabab.
Saeed Al Marri, the CEO of Al Shabab FC said that the defender was willing to continue with Al Shabab despite his contract up for renewal next season.
Al Ahli, on the recommendation of their Spanish coach Quique Sanchez Flores, were interested in signing the 27-year-old. Abbas joined Al Shabab in the 2007 and had a three-year contract running till next summer.
Meanwhile, Saeed Al Marri said that negotiations with Brazilian Luiz Henrique Alves was on hold as the midfielder had postponed his arrival to Dubai. Alves currently plays for Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in the K-League.