A feeding frenzy has started around Omar Abdulrahman after a clutch of European agents began attempts to represent the Asian Cup’s stand-out star ahead of a potential summer move.
Abdulrahman, 23, has stolen the show during the UAE’s run to this afternoon’s semi-final meeting with hosts Australia. His stellar form has not gone unnoticed, with interest growing in his services.
Like many Emirati players, his professional affairs are carried out by his club side. This means that Al Ain are the first point of contact for any interested teams or potential sponsors, although he also leans heavily on the advice provided by family and friends.
A number of European-based representatives and agencies are now attempting to cut the cord between Abdulrahman and the Boss. These efforts have seen Emirati agents contacted to offer guidance about who controls the player, and to gauge whether he would be open for a change.
It is not known if any clubs have contacted Al Ain directly to register their interest in acquiring the player. The issue is complicated by the fact his contract expires in the summer, with no breakthrough yet achieved on striking fresh terms.
Abdulrahman spent a two-week trial at Manchester City immediately after excelling at the London 2012 Olympics. A four-year deal broke down because of his failure to secure a work permit.
Nearly every transfer window since has brought stories of further foreign interest in acquiring the jewel of Middle Eastern football, with Abdulrahman rejecting a one-year loan switch to Portuguese giants Benfica in January 2013.
Meanwhile, Al Wahda expect to reach a conclusion in the coming days on “delicate” talks to bring in Australia veteran Tim Cahill, 35.
Discussions are ongoing with Major League Soccer and New York Red Bulls, for who the ex-Everton man has one year remaining on his current contract.
A senior Al Wahda source said: “Cahill is one of two or three players we are closely monitoring. The negotiations have reached a very delicate stage, and we will probably know a definite answer once the Asian Cup is over.
“There is also major competition for Cahill from outside the UAE.”
Cahill’s arrival would seem to spell the end of Kuwait centre-back Hussain Fadhel’s season-long loan at Al Nahyan Stadium.