Al Jazira still to agree fee with Roma for Gervinho

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Gervinho close to an AGL switch.

Arabian Gulf League challengers Al Jazira’s ambitious pursuit of Roma forward Gervinho is expected to come to a head in the “next two to three days”, an agreement with Roma still to be reached.

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The Pride of Abu Dhabi have been in talks with the Serie A outfit for several weeks about landing the former Arsenal wide man, a €13 million (Dhs53m) fee previously reported to have been settled upon.

It was hoped that the 28-year-old would travel to the UAE for a medical after his international duties concluded on June 14 with Ivory Coast’s goalless 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying draw with Gabon, yet no movement has occurred.

Jazira first-team manager Ayed Mabkhout revealed that a deal has been reached with the player over a rumoured four-year contract and is hopeful consensus with the Giallorossi over a fee will soon be reached.

He said: “We are still negotiating with Roma, until now there is nothing official. Everything with the player is agreed, now the two clubs need to come to a full agreement.

“Inshallah, everything can be agreed to conclude this deal. The negotiations are ongoing and we are trying our best.

“In the next two to three days we will know, Inshallah.”

Another summer of extensive change is taking place at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium as Jazira look to improve on last season’s second-placed finish.

Brazilian club legend Abel Braga has returned as coach in place of Eric Gerets, while playmaker Thiago Neves has been snapped up from Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal for €11m (Dh45m).

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Al Wahda confirm signature of former Arsenal midfielder

Barnaby Read 21/06/2015
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Denilson (r) battling with Yaya Toure during his Arsenal days.

Al Wahda have announced the signing of former Arsenal midfielder Denilson from Sao Paulo on a three-year contract as the Abu Dhabi outfit continue to strengthen their ranks ahead of the new season.

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The Brazilian becomes new boss Javier Aguirre’s first signing and will replace Moroccan international Adel Hermach as the club’s fourth foreign player, alongside Argentine pair Sebastian Tagliabue and Damian Diaz and Kuwait centre-back Hussain Fadhel.

Denilson, 27, said on Saturday that he was leaving the city of his birth for the UAE “with a heavy heart because everybody knows about my passion for Sao Paulo.”

Having broken through the ranks at Sao Paulo, Denilson went on to captain his country at U15 and U17 level before being brought to the Emirates by Arsene Wenger in 2006.

A total of 153 appearances in all competitions followed over the course of seven years at Arsenal but Denilson struggled with injuries and form and was shipped out on loan to Sao Paulo for the final 18 months of his contract.

Having had his contract terminated at Arsenal, Denilson made the permanent switch to Sao Paulo, signing a four-year deal in 2013.

Denilson helped his side to Copa Sudamericana glory in 2012 and it will be hoped by Wahda officials and supporters that he can lead his new side to similar glory.

Wahda finished fourth last-season, a disappointing end to a year where the side were expected to challenge for top honours.

It saw Sami Al Jaber’s brief tenure come to a premature end, with former Atletico Madrid and Japan boss Aguirre announced as new head coach last week.

Denilson may not be the last arrival at Wahda this summer with Diaz’s future believed to be in doubt, should the Mexican boss find a suitable replacement. 

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Javier Aguirre named new coach of Al Wahda

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Javier Aguirre will want to improve Al Wahda's 4th-place AGL finish last season.

Former Mexico, Atletico Madrid, Espanyol and, most recetly, Japan boss, Javier Aguirre has been named new head coach of Arabian Gulf League side Al Wahda.

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Aguirre replaces Sami Al Jaber who departs after just three months at the Al Nahyan Stadium. The former Saudi Arabia star claimed he was sacked because of a difference in opinion over the club’s direction.

The Mexican's appointment will come as a surprise to some Al Wahda fans after the club jumped the gun by announcing ealier this month that they were on the brink of hiring Oman coach Paul Le Guen on a one-year deal.

However, their 'deal' with Le Guen transpired to be a verbal agreement, with the Oman FA quickly reaffirming that Le Guen was going nowhere.

The AGL side will hope Aguirre is one of a number of new signings with Sao Paulo midfielder Denilson believed to be close to finalising a deal and Chelsea's John Obi Mikel rumoured to be on their radar.

Aguirre's time in Japan ended in February of this year after six months and ten games in charge, amid allegations of match-fixing at another former clulb Real Zaragoza.

The 56-year-old was forced to deny allegations that he was involved in fixing games and although he was never found guilty of any wrong-doing.

Al Wahda finished fourth in the AGL last season and the new manager will be under pressure to improve on this standing next term. Wahda have decided not take up their spot in next season’s GCC Club Cup as they look to concentrate on the AGL.

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