Ibrahima Toure is missing from action and Al Nasr do not know why
DUBAI // Ibrahima Toure’s future at Al Nasr appears uncertain after the striker failed to report for pre-season training this week.
The former Ajman forward from Senegal, who last season enjoyed a largely successful return to the Arabian Gulf League, was expected to join the rest of the squad at Al Maktoum Stadium, but he did not show.
The club say his whereabouts are unknown.
Toure, 28, arrived at Nasr last summer on a four-year contract, signing from Monaco on the back of a prolific season in which his goals helped the French side gain promotion to Ligue 1.
He continued his form for Nasr last term, scoring 19 times in 26 matches as Ivan Jovanovic’s men finished fifth in the standings.
Toure had previously excelled at Ajman, netting 14 goals in 16 appearances during a six-month loan in 2011.
He was supposed to return to training this week alongside Leo Lima, the Brazilian midfielder, as Nasr begin preparations for next season. However, Toure was not present on Tuesday night and has not provided any reason for his absence.
“Ibrahima has not yet come. We don’t know why. We have no idea,” Nasr team manager Khalid Obaid said. “Lima already started with us, but Toure, we don’t know where he is.
“We’ve tried to contact him, but I don’t want to talk about his situation until he comes back. It’s strange, a professional player with this mentality.”
Nasr state they have yet to have any official offers for Toure, although he is rumoured to be attracting interest from clubs in Turkey.
It is unclear whether Nasr want to retain him, but his capture last summer represented a considerable coup. Negotiations had been protracted.
“We have to see what’s wrong with Ibrahima, because he has three years on his contract and we paid a lot of money for him,” Obaid said. “So we cannot release his contract just because the club want to release it. We have to look for a solution.”
Lima’s situation is open to question, too, with the deep-lying playmaker recently linked with a transfer back to Brazil or to Qatar.
Houssine Kharja, the Moroccan midfielder at Qatar’s Al Arabi, has been touted as a replacement.
Asked about the chances of Lima remaining with Nasr, Obaid said: “I can’t say now. We’ll wait to see this coming week and then we’ll decide. Lima has a contract with us for another year, so we have to see how he is in training.
“For now, we haven’t thought about these two foreign players. We’re not in a hurry to release their contracts. They’re still training with us and at the moment they continue with us.”
Nasr’s other expatriates are Brett Holman, the Australian forward, and Ivan Trickovski, the Macedonian striker signed last week.
Eder Luis, the Brazilian, is out until the end of the year with a knee injury.
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Published: July 23, 2014 04:00 AM