Abbas, 28, started just 21 top-flight matches for the Red Knights since his purchase from Al Nasr. With his contract freshly elapsed at Rashid Stadium, he chose to move across Dubai to a club where he is expected to fill in for released Portugal metronome Hugo Viana.
“I would like to thank Al Wasl managament and fans for their confidence in me joining the club,” he told the Cheetahs’ Twitter account.
“I hope to help achieve your ambitions in the next year and to be as per your expectations.”
A fresh start for Abbas and his new employers begins Sunday as coach Rodolfo Arruabarrena oversees pre-season training. The ex-Argentina defender and Boca Juniors supremo replaced countryman Gabriel Calderon in June after his dismissal following a poor end to their AGL campaign, in which a potential shot at qualification to the AFC Champions League degenerated into a sixth-placed finish.
Medical examinations and initial fitness work will be carried out in the UAE until Wasl depart for a training camp in Nuremberg, Germany on July 25. Several friendly matches will be played there before returning home on August 18.
The competitive action begins for them against Sharjah in the Arabian Gulf Cup, starting on September 2-3. Their first AGL commitment will come at Al Jazira from September 16-18.
Rueda, 59, has been offered a $1.3 million-per-year contract to take over at the Sky Blues next season. The Colombian is one of several options they are exploring to replace Dr Abdullah Misfer, who departed last month amid discord with the board about the way forward following a ninth-place finish in the Arabian Gulf League.
But the tracking of the man who led Honduras and Ecuador at the last two World Cups is a difficult one. National hold a dominant 2-0 lead heading into Wednesday’s last-four decider in Medellin against Sao Paulo, and their boss is determined to stay until the continental commitments are over – with the second leg of the final set for July 27.
The financial package also is not currently large enough to tempt a coach who nevertheless, remains excited about the possibility of working in the Middle East. With this situation in mind, ex-Paraguay boss Ramon Diaz and Jose Luis Sierra – who resigned from Chile’s Colo-Colo earlier in the week – have been linked strongly with the post in South American media.
Bani Yas vice-chairman Mubarak Awad bin Mahirom has insisted he is not panicking about the current lack of progress.
He said: “At the top of our priorities is determining who will lead the first team next season. Several meetings have been held by the club with a number of qualified trainers from Europe and Latin America and consultations are still under way with a number of them – we have met with more than seven.”
The Sky Blues have already snapped up a quartet of players from Al Wahda, with UAE winger Amer Omar being joined by full-back Abdullah Al Noubi, defender Saeed Hizam and forward Omar Al Rashidi. Promising midfielder Faisal Ahmed has also completed a move from Dibba Al Fujairah.
This follows the loss of talismanic Whites midfielder Amer Abdulrahman to Al Ain.
Coach Zlatko Dalic has spoken of his delight at the acquisitions of Amer Abdulrahman and Caio, believing the pair can catapult Al Ain back to glory in 2016/17.
The Boss lost their Arabian Gulf League (AGL) crown to fierce rivals Al Ahli last season after capitulating in the second half, while they were also beaten in the final of the President’s Cup by another old foe, Al Jazira.
Dalic’s men only tasted defeat once in the league before Christmas but lost four times in 2016, with a dismal period of three draws and one defeat in their final five matches gifting the title to the Red Knights. An agonising 7-6 penalty shootout defeat to Jazira followed in May, meaning the Boss added only last August’s Arabian Gulf Super Cup to the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium trophy cabinet.
However, Dalic is expecting that to change next season.
“Al Ain will be better and stronger in the new season,” Dalic told the club’s website.
“Caio and Amer possess high artistic value, they can add desire and help to achieve the results that will lead this team to achieve the aspirations of the board and the club’s loyal fans. I am very happy that Amer and Caio are joining the list of stars we have at the club.”
Following a disappointing campaign and with the Croatian’s contract due to expire on June 1, it was expected Dalic would leave the Garden City this summer.
Despite their domestic season petering out though, his saving grace has been leading Al Ain from the brink of elimination to the quarter-finals of the AFC Champions League, where they face Uzbekistan’s Lokomotiv Tashkent in the first-leg next month.
Fortunes changed further for the 49-year-old coach when the previous club board was dissolved at the start of June following a distasteful television advert involving the club’s players.
In a rapid turnaround, Dalic then signed a new one-year deal, followed by midfielder Abdulrahman arriving from AGL rivals Bani Yas and Brazilian winger Caio joining from Japan’s Kashima Antlers.
And Dalic believes their additions can help the Boss return to glory both domestically and in Asia.
“The option to sign the players was based on the needs of the team and the requirements of the next stage and in light of the big challenges we face both locally and in the continental competition,” he said.
Winning a first Champions League title since 2003 for Al Ain is also something high on the agenda of Abdulrahman, the UAE international who signed with the club on his 27th birthday.
“The continental tournament is the biggest challenge for the team in the new season,” said Abdulrahman, who had spent 10 years with the Sky Blues. “It is currently the closest title for us to compete for and I hope we can achieve the objectives of the club and the happiness of our loyal fans in the coming season.”