Ryan Babel’s departure from Al Ain is imminent after the reigning Arabian Gulf League champions confirmed Danilo Asprilla as his replacement.
Colombian winger Asprilla, who rejected an offer from Saudi Arabia’s Al Ahli and clubs from Europe, completed his switch from Bulgaria’s Litex Lovech today after passing a medical and finalising a two-and-a-half year deal.
And the 26-year-old made it clear he is up to the task of playing for the UAE champions, something Dutchman Babel has struggled with during a controversial five-month stay.
“I know the club’s goals are high and I understand what is required of me as a professional player here,” Asprilla said.
“I always challenge myself to be better and to give a strong performance, which I look forward to showing at Al Ain.
“I achieved a lot with my team in Bulgaria and now is the time to enter into a new experience.”
Former Liverpool and Ajax forward Babel is expected to complete a move back to the Turkish Super Lig this month after being told he does not feature in boss Zlatko Dalic’s plans.
Despite only joining the Garden City Club in the summer after leaving Kasimpasa, the 29-year-old has been linked with a switch to Galatasaray, a rumour fueled after Babel spent the New Year in Istanbul.
He has been nothing short of a disaster in the AGL.
Last month he used Instagram to post an obscene gesture which also featured the club’s name, while in August when he issued a series of sexist messages on Twitter.
— Al Ain FC – EN (@alainfcae_en) January 4, 2016
The league leaders take on Al Dhafra in the AGL on Friday and Asprilla will be assessed ahead of the clash having not played competitively for two weeks because of the winter break in Bulgaria.
Born in Medellin, Colombia, Asprilla made his senior debut in 2010 for Uruguay’s Rampla Juniors before returning to his homeland two years later.
He moved to Europe last year and has featured in 60 league matches for Lovech, scoring 23 goals.
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