Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club’s long search for a first signing since their shock summer merger is set to be ended outside the transfer window after ex-South Korea Under-23 playmaker Moon Chang-jin began training with them this week.
Moon, 24, has been practising under the watch of coach Cosmin Olaroiu since gaining his release from K League Classic-promoted side Gangwon FC in the wake of October 1’s 1-1 draw against Ulsan Hyundai. The Rio 2016 Olympics quarter-finalist is now poised to ink a deal until June 2018 thanks to Article 37 in the UAE Football Federation’s rulebook, which allows free agents to join within three weeks of the market shutting – October 2 was the closing date.
Prominent Emirati agent Nasser Kashwani was putting the final touches on the attacking midfielder’s registration on Wednesday. The new boy will fulfil the designated Asian-qualified spot in the four-player foreign quota, potentially beginning with Saturday’s hosting of Emirates Club in the Arabian Gulf League.
More than 30 players had previously exited without replacements being procured since May’s surprise amalgamation of Al Shabab, Al Ahli and promoted Dubai CSC.
The slight Moon has struck six times in 30 matches for Gangwon after a €250,000 (Dh954,942) move from Pohang Steelers in December 2016. He had scored 10 goals in 86 run-outs for his boyhood club, following a debut in June 2012.
Olaroiu has been without an Asian player at Ahli since Moon’s compatriot Kwon Kyung-won was sold to ambitious Chinese Super League-outfit Tianjin Quanjian for $11 million last January. In the wake of the merger, Uzbekistan veteran Azizbek Haydarov was released after six years with Shabab – he subsequently joined yo-yo club Ajman.
A €1m (Dh4.4m) offer was made for Jeonnam Dragons midfielder Kim Young-uk last month, but this transaction went incomplete.
Shabab Al Ahli’s current non-Emiratis are prolific Senegal centre forward Makhete Diop, compatriot and €17m (Dh70m) record buy Moussa Sow plus Moldova forward Henrique Luvannor.
Confusion surrounds the status of Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club’s complicated chase outside the transfer window for Dynamo Dresden attacking midfielder Aias Aosman.
Aosman, 22, travelled to the UAE to complete a late €1 million (Dh4.3m) move and fill the vacant Asian-qualified spot in their four-player foreign quota ahead of the market’s closure on Monday afternoon. But several intractable complexities saw a deal shelved to secure the merged club’s only summer addition.
A belated discovery in the spring of a birth certificate has ensured the Syria-born, German refugee has yet to complete all citizenship paperwork required to be registered in the desired manner. This caused Cosmin Olaroiu’s men to renege on completing an agreement before the deadline, hope existing a free transfer can be concluded before October 23’s cut off.
— TAG24 Dresden (@TAG24DD) October 3, 2017
The latter scenario was rejected on Tuesday by the 2. Bundesliga-outfit’s sporting director Ralf Minge. “Aias still has a contract with us, it runs until the end of June 2019,” he told TAG24 about the player who has scored 11 times in 72 run-outs for SGD.
Shabab Al Ahli – whose 100-per-cent start to the 2017/18 Arabian Gulf League ended with a controversial 2-1 loss at bitter rivals Al Ain on Friday – require a creative force. They chose to de-register Argentine Tomas De Vincenti on deadline day and replace him with Senegal forward Moussa Sow, a €17 million (Dh70m) record buy who spent last season back on loan at Turkey’s Fenerbahce.
They next host Sharjah on Saturday in Group B of the Arabian Gulf Cup.
Former Internazionale, Fiorentina and Lazio forward Mauro Zarate was the only major addition made by Arabian Gulf League clubs on a deathly-quiet transfer deadline day.
Zarate, 30, arrived on Monday at Al Nasr on a season’s loan after he failed to make any appearances for the Premier League’s Watford in the early months of 2017/18. His procurement was forced on the Blue Wave by Sunday’s unfortunate news their star striker Wanderley had damaged knee ligaments during the weekend’s electric 4-2 win at champions Al Jazira and he faces at least two months out of action.
“I’m happy to join Al Nasr and I cannot wait to give all my best to this club,” said the ex-Argentine Under-20 international.
In a continuation of the new frugal and circumspect approach to the market applied this summer, the other key move saw Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club draft €17 million (Dh70m) record buy Moussa Sow back into their four-player foreign quota at the expense of Argentine playmaker Tomas De Vincenti. The merged outfit did not sign a single player in this market, an aborted transfer for Jeonnam Dragons midfielder Kim Young-wook meaning their Asian slot remains vacant.
رسالة زاراتي إلى جماهير العميد 💙💪🏼 pic.twitter.com/PJ3381nltT
— AL NASR FC (@ALNasrSC) October 2, 2017
Al Ain re-signed veteran midfielder Ibrahim Diaky, 35, on terms until the end of this campaign. Al Dhafra also finalised temporary deals from Jazira for young defenders Mohamed Al Hammadi and Saeed Al Rowahi.
For Nasr, they will hope their latest Argentine recruit enjoys a return to form.
The Blue Wave represent the 10th club of a professional career which has rarely lived up to the expectations earned when he shared the top-scorer award in the 2006 Argentine Apertura aged 19 at Velez Sarsfield, plus won the 2007 FIFA World Youth Championship alongside future superstar Sergio Aguero.
Zarate joined current parent club Watford on a two-and-a-half-year contract in January.
But he has not added to three goalless appearances since damaging his knee a month later against ex-employers West Ham United.
Brazilian powerhouse Wanderley had scored three goals in four matches this term, prior to his sidelining.