Hamad hints at more additions at Al Ahli

Former Liverpool and Stoke winger Assaidi was officially unveiled by the Red Knights on Monday and he will replace Romanian misfit Mirel Radoi in their five-strong foreign quota.

By Alex Leach - Senior Reporter

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Published: Wed 21 Jan 2015, 12:49 AM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 10:47 PM

Dubai: Al Ahli’s chief executive officer (CEO) Ahmad Khalifa Hamad has hinted the signing of Oussama Assaidi may not be their only mid-season purchase during the ongoing transfer window.

Former Liverpool and Stoke winger Assaidi was officially unveiled by the Red Knights on Monday and he will replace Romanian misfit Mirel Radoi in their five-strong foreign quota. Ciel is highly unlikely to be re-registered this season as he progressively recovers from ankle surgery, meaning Ahli now have the requisite number of overseas recruits in Assaidi, Grafite, Luis Jimenez and Carlos Munoz.

Nonetheless, with speculation that ageing striker Grafite may — like Radoi — be deemed surplus to requirements this month, Hamad says further additions might still materialise in the near future.

“We don’t know,” Hamad replied with a knowing laugh and smile when asked if Ahli were still in the market for more.

“We don’t know about the future, but we’re always trying to improve the team by signing new players.

“That’s how we work, so let’s wait and see. Until February 10th, maybe something will happen because that will be the end of the winter transfer window, so we don’t know what will happen until that time.”

Hamad meanwhile expects coach Cosmin Olaroiu to return to Rashid Stadium any time now after the Romanian failed to guide Saudi Arabia into the knockout rounds at the AFC Asian Cup in Australia.

“I don’t think this period affected us and he (Cosmin) will be back within the next few hours,” Hamad confirmed.

“As you know, Saudi Arabia didn’t progress beyond the group phase, so Cosmin will be back again and — once the national team has finished their mission in Australia — we’ll have everybody together again and the work starts all over again.

“All of the steps that have been taken were with Cosmin’s knowledge. He knows about everything and he was following all of the steps during the negotiations until the signing. He was aware of everything. He knows Oussama well, he was happy and he agreed to sign him.”



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