Sardor Rashidov set to wing in at UAE champions Al Jazira

Matt Monaghan 21:21 19/06/2017
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New man in town: Al Jazira are close to securing Sardor Rashidov (Getty).

Arabian Gulf League champions Al Jazira’s ominous summer recruitment drive looks set to continue with the purchase of exciting Uzbekistan winger Sardor Rashidov.

Rashidov, 25, posted a welcoming picture of a cake emblazoned with the Pride of Abu Dhabi’s emblem on his Instagram late on Sunday as he prepared to put the finishing touches on his move from now-defunct Qatar club El Jaish.

The wide man has scored an impressive 23 times in 48 Qatar Stars League run-outs for the Soldiers since a July 2015 switch from Bunyodkor for $2.1 million and will replace South Korea anchorman Park Jong-woo in the four-player foreign quota’s Asian-qualified berth.

The Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium-outfit have already tied up the impressive free transfers of ex-France defensive midfielder Lassana Diarra plus UAE front man Ahmed Khalil once his deal at boyhood club Al Ahli expires this summer.

They are also interested in Rashidov’s club-mate Romarinho. The electric Brazilian forward has struck 40 goals in 72 QSL games.

Of Jazira’s current non-Emirati quartet, both Park and Brazlian forward Ailton Almeida have been released after their contracts ran out.

Morocco conductor Mbark Boussoufa is halfway through a two-year arrangement, while winter arrival Leonardo has been linked with a loan move to Riyadh’s Al Nassr.

Coach Henk ten Cate’s troops earned a provisional spot in the 2017 Club World Cup after they romped to the 2016/17 AGL title with a record points and wins tally.

Meanwhile, relegation dodgers Emirates Club have announced the retention of saviour Sebastian Saez on a new one-year contract.

The Argentine striker, 32, played a decisive role during last season’s final two matches as he produced a last-gasp header to draw 4-4 at Bani Yas and helped force the only goal versus Al Nasr to secure a great escape.

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