Moussa Sow’s impending Al Ahli arrival not on Cosmin Olaroiu’s mind

Cosmin Olaroiu refused to be drawn on Moussa Sow’s impending transfer to Al Ahli, with the coach instead preferring to concentrate on Monday's Arabian Gulf Cup clash against Emirates club.
Moussa Sow, right, will not be eligible for Al Ahli in the Asian Champions League. Adem Altan / AFP
Moussa Sow, right, will not be eligible for Al Ahli in the Asian Champions League. Adem Altan / AFP

DUBAI // Cosmin Olaroiu refused to be drawn on Moussa Sow’s impending transfer to Al Ahli, with the coach instead preferring to concentrate on Monday’s Arabian Gulf Cup clash against Emirates club.

The Dubai side are expected to announce the acquisition of the Senegalese forward within the next 24 hours, after his current club Fenerbahce confirmed the transfer on Friday via their official Twitter account.

The fee is reported to be €16 million (Dh65.7m), which would be one of the biggest transfer outlays by a UAE side. Sow would also receive €1m from Ahli to compensate for his lost loyalty bonuses from Fenerbahce.

However, speaking on the eve of Ahli’s opening cup encounter, Olaroiu chose not to confirm or deny the signing, simply shrugging his shoulders when pressed.

“I’m not talking about transfers,” he said. “I will talk only about the team and the players I have.”

Should Sow join Ahli, he will not be available for this season’s Asian Champions League since player registration closed last month. Ahli are contesting the quarter-finals against Naft Tehran and secured a 1-0 victory in Iran last week.

The return leg takes place on September 16.

Currently, Ahli’s foreign contingent includes Everton Ribeiro, Kwon Kyung-won, Lima, Oussama Assaidi and Ciel, with the latter not registered for the club’s 2015/16 Arabian Gulf League squad.

Ciel suffered a broken ankle in last season’s first round and did not feature again. He was afforded the opportunity during preseason to prove a return to form is likely.

“He needs a little bit more confidence with his leg,” Olaroiu said.

“Mentally, he is ready; physically, as well. I think he will be able to play. He has his confidence back. He is doing better and better.

“I am not sure when, but he will play soon. For now, we see what he will do in the future.”

On Ahli’s home test against Emirates, Olaroiu said: “This is not the best competition for us because we are missing 10 players with the national team, other teams don’t have this many players there so will not be as affected.

“Despite this, we treat this competition as seriously as we can. It’s an opportunity for other players and youngsters to show they can become main players. We will try our best to prepare for this game.”

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Published: August 30, 2015 04:00 AM

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