Omar Abdulrahman to frustrate Nice as AFC Champions League glory remains key to Europe move

Amoory is set to stay in the Arabian Gulf League once again

Matt Monaghan
by Matt Monaghan
5th August 2017

article:5th August 2017

Staying in the picture: Omar Abdulrahman (3rd l) training with Al Ain in Austria this week.
Staying in the picture: Omar Abdulrahman (3rd l) training with Al Ain in Austria this week.

Al Ain superstar Omar Abdulrahman remains highly unlikely to make a long-predicted switch to Europe this summer – with a gentleman’s agreement to exit predicated on victory in the AFC Champions League.

Abdulrahman, 25, has reportedly been offered a loan move to Ligue 1’s Nice for 2017/18. This follows on from links to the likes of Arsenal, Valencia, Hamburg and Benfica since a move to Manchester City officially broke down in the aftermath of the London 2012 Olympics because of work-permit regulations.

Voetbal International further fanned these flames on Wednesday by stating the French side’s move for Netherlands great Wesley Sneijder has been put on hold until they receive a definitive answer from the 2016 AFC Player of the Year in the coming days.

But this reply is not likely to be positive. The Boss have made no provisions for such a cataclysmic exit ahead of tomorrow’s deadline for the latter stages of the 2017 ACL, a competition in which they must prevail – beginning with the imminent quarter-final against Saudi Arabian giants Al Hilal – to qualify for next year’s edition.

Chairman Ghanem Al Hajeri also stated last month that “we haven’t officially received any offer” for Amoory. Even if this is bluster, it is likely only intervention from the highest levels of Emirati society could convince them to allow their key player to exit now – yet alone after registration has closed.

This was not the case last winter when Abdulrahman’s camp was made aware success in the 2016 ACL final against South Korea’s Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors could finally lead to acquiescence about a switch to Europe, through Al Ain’s sense of gratitude. But a 3-2 aggregate loss ended that scenario.

If Amoory does make the switch this time, he will hope for more success than UAE team-mate Hamdan Al Kamali. The centre-back failed to make any appearances for Lyon’s first team during a six-month loan in 2013.

Abdulrahman has scored 55 goals and assisted 101 more during his 204 appearances for the Garden City-outfit since his January 2009 debut.

He agreed a four-year contract extension in February 2015. Demands to match his current 5 million (Dh21.6m) per annum net pay are another considerable obstacle to Nice’s overtures, even though they are backed by a Chinese/American consortium.

Meanwhile, Amoory might not be the only Abdulrahman to depart Al Ain after older brother Mohamed reportedly emerged as a target for Riyadh’s Al Nassr.

Abdulrahman, 28, has been a vital utility attacker for the Boss since his bow in 2008. Erem News have stated that a loan return to the city of his birth could be an option, as they look to fill their Asian-qualified spot in the foreign quota.



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