Arabian Gulf League champions Al Jazira’s ominous summer recruitment drive looks set to continue with the purchase of exciting Uzbekistan winger Sardor Rashidov.
Rashidov, 25, posted a welcoming picture of a cake emblazoned with the Pride of Abu Dhabi’s emblem on his Instagram late on Sunday as he prepared to put the finishing touches on his move from now-defunct Qatar club El Jaish.
The wide man has scored an impressive 23 times in 48 Qatar Stars League run-outs for the Soldiers since a July 2015 switch from Bunyodkor for $2.1 million and will replace South Korea anchorman Park Jong-woo in the four-player foreign quota’s Asian-qualified berth.
The Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium-outfit have already tied up the impressive free transfers of ex-France defensive midfielder Lassana Diarra plus UAE front man Ahmed Khalil once his deal at boyhood club Al Ahli expires this summer.
They are also interested in Rashidov’s club-mate Romarinho. The electric Brazilian forward has struck 40 goals in 72 QSL games.
Of Jazira’s current non-Emirati quartet, both Park and Brazlian forward Ailton Almeida have been released after their contracts ran out.
Morocco conductor Mbark Boussoufa is halfway through a two-year arrangement, while winter arrival Leonardo has been linked with a loan move to Riyadh’s Al Nassr.
Coach Henk ten Cate’s troops earned a provisional spot in the 2017 Club World Cup after they romped to the 2016/17 AGL title with a record points and wins tally.
Meanwhile, relegation dodgers Emirates Club have announced the retention of saviour Sebastian Saez on a new one-year contract.
The Argentine striker, 32, played a decisive role during last season’s final two matches as he produced a last-gasp header to draw 4-4 at Bani Yas and helped force the only goal versus Al Nasr to secure a great escape.