Abdulaziz Sanqour, left, is set to miss Al Ahli's Asian Champions League quarter-final. Sarah Dea / The National
Abdulaziz Sanqour, left, is set to miss Al Ahli's Asian Champions League quarter-final. Sarah Dea / The National

Abdulaziz Sanqour ruled out for a month to add to Al Ahli’s injury concerns



DUBAI // Al Ahli have suffered another injury blow ahead of their Asian Champions League quarter-final after defender Abdulaziz Sanqour was ruled out of action for up to a month.

Sanqour, 26, picked up a knee injury during Saturday’s friendly against an Inter Milan Under 20 team and medical tests have confirmed the right-back will need between “three weeks to a month” to recover, which means he is likely to miss Ahli’s opening match of the Arabian Gulf League against Fujairah on August 19 and could also struggle to make the trip to Iran for the side’s Champions League quarter-final first leg against Naft Tehran a week later.

This is the second injury blow to hit Ahli inside a week of their pre-season camp in Italy. Central defender Ahmed Essa was earlier ruled out for at least six months after tearing a cruciate ligament during a training session. The former Al Wahda player has since left Italy for France to seek treatment.

These two injuries could force Ahli to seek defensive reinforcements while the transfer window is still open, with Al Shabab’s Manei Mohammed emerging as a potential target.

The young defender had requested a dissolution of his contract earlier this month after being approached by an unnamed Arabian Gulf League club, and had offered to pay the penalty clause as well, but the club refused to countenance his demands.

Mohammed is currently with the Shabab squad at their pre-season training camp in the Netherlands.

Baniyas sign Belfodil

Meanwhile, Baniyas have announced a two-year deal with Algerian international Ishak Belfodil, making the former Inter Milan and Parma striker their third new overseas recruit of the summer.

A former France youth international, Belfodil, 23, had been a free agent since terminating his contract with the bankrupt Italian club Parma in May, waiving the club’s liability over unpaid wages.

Earlier this month, he was on the verge of signing for Turkish club Bursaspor, but the deal fell through.

The Abu Dhabi club said the deal was signed on Monday after which Belfodil flew out to Spain, where he will join the two other new Baniyas foreign recruits: Australian midfielder Mark Milligan and Argentine striker Joaquin Larrivey, at the club’s pre-season base.

No Nasr move for Nilmar

Elsewhere, Al Nasr target Nilmar has denied receiving any offers from the Dubai club, insisting no amount of money could persuade him to leave his current club Internacional.

Media reports in Brazil last week had claimed Nilmar, 31, was on his way to Nasr following a €3.5 million (Dh14.2m) bid by the President’s Cup holders.

The club are looking to replace their Senegalese striker Ibrahima Toure, who has failed to report for the pre-season.

Nilmar, however, has dismissed those reports, and told Brazilian media: “I have seen such stories, attributing rumours. But I have always made it clear that I chose to come to this club and I am happy here.”

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