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Dubai's Al Nasr sign Israeli footballer Saba

Filed on September 28, 2020
Diaa Saba, attacking Israeli midfielder, poses with his number 9 jersey. - Al Nasr Twitter

The transfer reportedly cost more than $2.9 million.

Dubai's Al Nasr has for the first time signed an Israeli footballer, Diaa Saba, less than two weeks after the UAE normalised ties with Israel.

Saba, a 28-year-old Israeli Arab attacking midfielder with China's Guangzhou R&F, signed a two-year contract with Al Nasr, according to a club statement on Sunday.

The transfer reportedly cost more than 2.5 million euros ($2.9 million).

"Al Nasr has completed the procedures with Diaa Saba ... in a contract that extends for two seasons after he successfully passed medical examinations this morning," it said in a statement.

Al Nasr tweeted footage of Saba wearing the number 9 jersey, dribbling and taking shots while training at the Al Maktoum Stadium.

Saba's move comes after the UAE, of which Dubai is a member, signed a US-brokered accord to normalise ties with Israel on September 15, the first such deal with a Gulf nation.

Also this month, Israeli media reported that an unnamed Emirati businessman has expressed an interest in investing in Israeli football club, Beitar Jerusalem.

Sabia - who is of Palestinian origin - was born in northern Israel and rose through the ranks of a youth club before moving to Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2012.

He played for several Israeli clubs until signing in 2014 with Maccabi Netanya, where he stayed for four years.

Saba has scored 50 goals in 111 games in various competitions, including 24 in the 2018 season, and has 10 caps in the Israeli national team.

He was sold to Guangzhou R&F for more than four million euros. - AFP

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