Al Nasr finalise deal with Sharjah for striker Wanderley

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Wanderley (r) will replace Nilmar (l).

Wanderley, 27, has been chased by the Blue Wave all summer since they decided to ditch underwhelming Brazil international Nilmar. The ex-Cruzeiro and Flamengo striker had come to their attention after he scored an exceptional 32 goals in 51 Arabian Gulf League appearances for the relegation battlers since a summer 2014 switch from Qatar’s Al Arabi.

The formalities on the deal will be completed in the coming days, meaning – alongside fellow new boy and Morocco playmaker Abdelaziz Barrada – he will be registered in plenty of time for the historic continental showdown against Doha’s El Jaish next month.

With France-born forward Jires Kembo Ekoko and Burkina Faso winger Jonathan Pitroipa expected to be retained, Wanderley is likely to have needed to acquire the requisite papers to fill the Asian slot in the four-player foreign quota.

This would explain the delay in finalising the transfer.

Coach Ivan Jovanovic’s side struggled domestically last term, failing to build on their preceding President’s Cup and Arabian Gulf Cup triumphs.

This was partly explained by the inadequate replacing of errant target man Ibrahima Toure, with the slight Nilmar being brought in from Internacional after the Senegal star went AWOL for the second-successive summer.

Despite possessing a completely different physical profile, a regular use of long balls in a 4-5-1 formation remained. Ill-suited Nilmar scored only 11 goals in 26 top-flight appearances as the Al Maktoum Stadium-outfit limped home fifth.

He proved more useful in the ACL, but his three goals in six games as Nasr made the knockout stages for the first time could not save him.

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Humaid Abbas ready to repay Al Wasl faith

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Abbas spent three years at Ahli.

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.

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Bani Yas search for new manager further complicated

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Rueda has been offered a deal.

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.

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