Al Nasr and Emirates say they are not interested in Grafite as January transfer window nears
DUBAI // Al Nasr have brushed aside reports of a possible move for Al Ahli’s Grafite during the January transfer window and also denied any interest in former French international Nicolas Anelka.
Social media has been abuzz in recent days with speculation that one of these two, or both, could be headed for Al Maktoum Stadium in the winter transfer window, but the vice chairman of the club, Ahmed Hashim Khoury, has come out to dismiss those rumours.
Khoury said Nasr have not contacted either of those veteran stars and stressed that “the news circulating on social networking sites about Nasr’s approach for one of the two players is completely unfounded”.
Khoury said that club officials are set to meet with coach Ivan Jovanovic next week to discuss any possible changes during the January transfer window and sources at the Al Maktoum stadium believe Macedonian striker Ivan Trickovski could be on his way out after an underwhelming first half of the season.
The Ras Al Khaimah club Emirates are also looking to make a couple of changes to their foreign quartet, but have ruled out a bid for the 35-year-old Grafite.
Winner of the foreign player of the year award last season, Grafite has struggled to impose himself this term and, with Ahli stuttering in their title defence, the Brazilian striker has received plenty of flak from fans for his modest performances.
He is expected to depart the Rashid Stadium in January after three-and-a-half seasons at the club and Emirates were reportedly keen to get his signature. Unable to match the striker’s reported Dh800,000-a-month salary from Ahli, though, Emirates are looking elsewhere.
Emirates are reportedly set to replace their Argentine striker German Herrera and Asian player Rodrigo Souza.
“Issam Erraki and Luiz Henrique have done a really great job for the team, especially Henrique,” Mohammed Al Taweel, a team official, said. “He has been a saviour, scoring crucial goals.
“Herrera and Rodrigo, however, have not performed at a level that satisfies us. There has been a remarkable decline in their performance, so change is an inevitable reality.”
The Abu Dhabi club have denied reports about Adil Hermach’s return to French club Toulouse in January and the end of Kuwaiti Hussain Fadhel’s loan deal.
Reports in recent days had claimed Toulouse had tabled a formal offer for Wahda’s Moroccan midfielder, while Kuwaiti club Al Qadisiya have reportedly asked for the end of their loan deal for Fadhel as they want the central defender back.
Jamal Al Hosni, the official club spokesman, said: “So far, we have not received a formal request from the French club Toulouse and the same goes for Hussain Fadhel. So, until this moment, all our players are on board, both foreign players and Emiratis.”
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Published: December 26, 2014 04:00 AM