Romarinho still set on Al Jazira despite reports linking him to Qatari clubs

Brazilian forward, who last represented Doha side El Jaish, seems ready to go ahead with agreement to join UAE champions.

Romarinho, left, seen in action for El Jaish against Al Ain last season, is still likely to play in an Al Jazira shirt next season. Karim Jaafar / AFP
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Al Jazira’s move for Romarinho appears to still be on, despite reports linking the Brazilian to a host of clubs in Qatar.

The forward, who last represented Doha side El Jaish and is now a free agent, had agreed to join the UAE champions last month, but stories emerged this past week that he would sign for Al Rayyan or Al Saad instead. He had been offered dual citizenship.

However, it seems Romarinho remains set on Jazira, with the ambitious club looking to finalise their four foreign players for the 2017/18 Arabian Gulf League season. Jazira have already been busy this summer, and earlier this month confirmed the arrivals of UAE striker Ahmed Khalil, Frenchman Lassana Diarra and Uzbek forward Sardor Rashidov.

Romarinho knows the latter well having spent the past two years together at El Jaish. Mbark Boussoufa, the Moroccan integral last season to Jazira’s first UAE championship in six years, is the only foreign player retained.

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Romarinho, 26, previously played for Corinthians before his €7.5 million (Dh36.3m) move to Qatar. There, he proved a success, scoring 40 goals in 72 Qatari Stars League appearances. Last year, Romarinho helped El Jaish reach the semi-finals of the Asian Champions League, where they were defeated by Al Ain. Such form convinced a number of clubs to express an interest in acquiring his services, including Dubai’s Al Nasr.

Should the transfer go ahead as planned, Romarinho will take the place in the Jazira squad of Leonardo. The Brazilian, recruited in January, performed well initially, but has been allowed to leave on a season-long loan to Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr.

Jazira are currently at a pre-season training camp in the Netherlands. Almost the full squad has been there since last week, with Boussoufa and Rashidov joining up during the past few days.