Al Jazira call Gervinho move off after extortionate demands

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  • Expensive taste: Gervinho’s proposed move to Al Jazira is off.

    Excessive financial demands from Gervinho has seen Al Jazira put the brakes on an ambitious move to bring the Ivorian winger to the Arabian Gulf League.

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    Gervinho, 28, had been expected to arrive in the UAE after an outline agreement on a four-year deal and a €13 million (Dh 53.3m) fee with Roma was settled more than a fortnight ago. But negotiations have since faltered.

    The finer details of how the Serie A side would be paid first slowed talks, escalating contractual requests from the Ivory Coast international and his advisors which led to the Pride of Abu Dhabi calling a halt. At this stage, last season’s runners-up are not expected to further pursue the transfer.

    “The deal hit a stumbling block because of the excessive demands on his four-year deal,” a senior Jazira source said.

    “He started making obscene demands, so the transfer is off. It is better for us to call this transfer off now, rather than live with a player for a few months who is likely to cause problems because of his wage demands.”

    Allied to this recent announcement, central midfielder Jucilei had been sold to Chinese Super League-outfit Shandong Luneng Taishan, it leaves returning coach Abel Braga looking for both an Asian-qualified and foreign player to complete his squad’s four-man foreign quota alongside newly-recruited playmaker Thiago Neves and last term’s AGL top scorer Mirko Vucinic.

    An Asian star is to be pursued in central midfield, with someone from outside the continent recruited for another position – most likely to be a goal-scoring winger.

    Jucilei, 27, made 35 Arabian Gulf League appearances for the Pride of Abu Dhabi since he was signed from Russian Premier League side Anzhi Makhachkala in January 2014.

    Although he often failed to dominate matches on the field, the two-times-capped Brazil international performed an important role last season as an Asian player after he gained Palestinian citizenship.

    He was pictured holding a Shandong scarf, confirmation of a move to the Far East from Jazira following later.

    “Al Jazira announces that it has reached an agreement with Chinese club Shandong Luneng Taishan for the transfer of Jucilei on a permanent deal,” a statement read.

    “The company wanted to thank the player for all his efforts in the past two seasons. We wish him well in the future in his professional career and his personal life.”

    Jucilei had been expected to be retained under compatriot Braga but Argentine playmaker Manuel Lanzini and Burkina Faso winger Jonathan Pitroipa have been placed on the transfer list.