The Abu Dhabi club believed to have put in a Dh40 million bid for the Emirati, although they may face fight from other Arabian Gulf League clubs for the player's signature.

Midfielder Habib Fardan is Al Nasr’s lone regular Emirati representative in the national team. Lee Hoagland / The National
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DUBAI // Habib Fardan looks set to complete his big-money move to Al Jazira in the coming days after being left out of Al Nasr’s pre-season tour to Germany.

Jazira have been chasing Fardan since the end of last season, but Nasr had dismissed the earlier approaches. The Dubai club, however, have reluctantly agreed now after failing to convince the player to stay at the Al Maktoum Stadium beyond his current contract, which ends in June next year.

Fardan is expected to move to Jazira in a deal that could be the biggest for an Emirati football player in the history of UAE football.

According to reports, the Abu Dhabi club have offered Nasr Dh40 million for the midfielder and the player himself would get an annual package in excess of Dh10m.

Jazira, however, are not the only club vying for the signature of the national team star, who was the top Emirati scorer in the Arabian Gulf League last season with nine goals.

“Al Nasr notes that it has received more than one offer for Habib Fardan and the club is in the process of studying them,” Nasr said on their official Twitter account. “We have not settled on any offer so far.”

According to sources, Al Ahli, the defending league and Etisalat Cup champions, have also put their name in the mix, tempting Nasr with not just cash, but some of their top players in exchange. They are also willing to match the salary Jazira are offering to the player.

Fardan, however, could prefer a move to the Capital. Jazira have been persistent in their chase, making their first offer in June and allowing Abdulla Qasem to move to the Dubai club on a three-year deal last month.

Fardan’s closeness to his UAE teammates from Al Jazira, Ali Mabkhout and Khamis Esmail, could also play a part in his decision. The 23-year-old, who started his career at Al Wasl before moving to the Bur Dubai club in 2009, has been posting photographs of him with his two Jazira friends on his official Instagram account in recent times. Many fans considered that as a hint of his possible desire to move to the Abu Dhabi giants.

At Jazira, Fardan will also have a better chance of regular first-team action; given Ahli’s packed midfield, he might not have that assurance with the Red Knights.

Initially, Nasr had turned down the offer by Jazira, unwilling to part with the only national team regular on their roster.

Last week, team manager Khaled Obaid had said: “Selling Habib would not be good for the club; for a player of Habib’s quality to leave. Clubs have sent letters saying they want Habib, but we will not let him go just because one letter arrives through email or fax”.

The club, now, seem to have relented after failing in their bid to lure Fardan with a lucrative new extension deal. The player’s current contract with Nasr runs till the end of the season, which means he could leave in January on a free transfer.

Given that prospect, Nasr have decided to cash-in and the management are in talks with Al Wasl to bring in promising youngster Fahad Hadeed as a replacement.

The 28-member Nasr squad left for Munich yesterday for the first stage of their overseas pre-season training camp, which will run till August 13. They will camp in Italy from August 20 until September 1.

Leonardo Lima also left with the team, which means the Brazilian could continue at the Al Maktoum Stadium after speculation about his future since the end of last season.

arizvi@thenational.ae