Al Jazira in the market for Asian recruit as midfielder Jucilei departs for China

Al Jazira are back in the transfer market to sign a foreign player to fill their Asian player slot after releasing Jucilei, the Brazilian who was playing for them under a Palestinian passport.

Jucilei, centre, has left Al Jazira after two seasons at the club. Christopher Pike / The National
Powered by automated translation

ABU DHABI // Al Jazira are back in the transfer market to sign a foreign player to fill their Asian player slot after releasing Jucilei, the Brazilian who was playing for them under a Palestinian passport.

Jucilei, 27, moves to the Chinese Super League club Shandong Luneng on a permanent deal from the beginning of next season following an agreement between the two clubs, Jazira announced on their website.

“The Al Jazira Football Company want thank the player for all his contributions for the past two seasons, and wish him well in the future in his professional career and personal life,” the club said in a statement.

With their former Brazilian coach Abel Braga back after a five-year hiatus, Jazira’s foreign quartet looked complete.

MORE AGL NEWS

They have agreed on a three-year deal for Brazilian midfielder Thiago Neves from Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia and are close to signing Ivory Coast international and Roma forward Gervinho. Jazira retained Mirko Vucinic, the former Juventus and Montenegro international who topped the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) scoring chart with 25 goals in his debut season.

However, Jucilei’s departure has left Jazira in search of a player who can fill the designated Asian spot under the Asian Football Confederation’s three-plus-one rule.

Jazira club officials were not available for comment on the reason behind the transfer.

Jucilei arrived at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium with Ecuador international Felipe Caicedo, his teammate at Russian Premier League club Anzhi Makhachkala, in January 2014.

Jazira parted ways with the injury-plagued Caicedo six months later, but Jucilei was retained for the 2014/15 season as the club’s Asian player after he obtained a Palestinian passport.

Jucilei’s impact during his tenure with Jazira was minimal as the club continued their stretch without winning a trophy since 2012.

They finished third and fourth, respectively, in the past two seasons in the AGL.

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @NatSportUAE