Al Wahda complete long-awaited swoop for Legia Warsaw forward Carlitos

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Al Wahda rounded out their foreign quartet on Monday night with the long-predicted signing of €3 million-rated Legia Warsaw forward Carlitos.

Carlitos, 29, had been pursued by the Clarets in June as rumblings went on about the future of unsettled 2019 AFC Champions League top scorer Leonardo. Last month’s mutual parting with the Brazilian – who would controversially join Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club – then led to intense talks with Red Star Belgrade’s Comoros attacker El Fardou Mohamed Ben Nabouhane.

The last-minute collapse of those negotiations allowed interest in the 2017/18 Ekstraklasa Player of the Season to be revisited. Medical examinations were completed after the Spaniard landed in Abu Dhabi on Saturday and he will be presented to media on Tuesday at 13:00.

Wahda previously converted Uruguayan midfielder Nicolas Milesi’s loan from Al Dhafra into a permanent deal, until 2021. Exits have included mothballed Moroccan winger Mourad Batna to Al Jazira, while the Emirati trio of centre-back Salem Sultan, centre midfielder Mohammed Abdulbasit and winger Tareq Ahmed have all joined Arabian Gulf League champions Sharjah.

Wahda hope this business will enable them to improve on last term’s third-placed finish. That was secured under veteran coach Henk ten Cate, whose post-season retirement led to the hiring of VVV-Venlo’s Maurice Steijn.

Carlitos will provide the Dutchman with a versatile attacking option, capable of playing behind the striker or as a No9. He departs Legia with a record of 21 goals from 53 matches across all competitions.

A prolific first season in Poland had witnessed the Alicante-born player become the 2017/18’s top flight’s leading marksman with 24 strikes in 36 run-outs for Wisla Krakow.

Wahda represent the 11th club of a nomadic senior career. Previous employers have included Villarreal B and Fuenlabrada in Spain’s lower leagues, plus Cypriot Second Division’s Aris Limassol and now subsumed Russian outfit FC Petrotrest.

Fujairah are likely to represent debut opposition for Carlitos in his new colours on September 20 when the 2019/20 AGL kicks off.

The development of a successful understanding with veteran Argentine striker Sebastian Tagliabue should be determinant to the team’s hopes of success.

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