UAE playmaker Omar to leave Saudi giants Al Hilal - GulfToday

UAE playmaker Omar to leave Saudi giants Al Hilal


Omar Abdulrahman moves forward with the ball during a match. File

Saudi Arabian giants Al Hilal have opted not to renew the contract of influential midfielder Omar Abdulrahman.

The UAE international joined Al Hilal in a blaze of publicity from Al Ain last August, but was subsequently sidelined for most of the season after he damaged an anterior cruciate ligament just two months after signing for the two-time AFC Champions League runners-up.

Despite subsequently recovering from the injury, Omar is now set to leave Al Hilal after failing to agree a new contract.

“The club’s management started talks with the player before our training camp in Europe, as he had asked to renew his contract before that camp even though there was still one month remaining on his contract,” Al Hilal said in a statement.

“Because of his previous injury, we wanted to renew the player’s contract after he had passed a medical test. The player passed the medical examination and then demanded an increase in the financial part of the contract.”

“We adjusted our offer, and gave him 24 hours to reply, to make sure that we get this matter resolved quickly. We have extended the deadline several times, but we have still to receive a reply.

“We have therefore decided to end the negotiations and we thank Omar (Abdulrahman) for the time he spent with the club, and wish him all the best for the future.”

Under recently installed head coach Razvan Lucescu, Al Hilal are scheduled to meet domestic rivals Al Ahli Saudi FC in the first leg of their 2019 AFC Champions League Round of 16 showdown on Aug.6, before hosting the return fixture a week later.

Meanwhile, Bert van Marwijk-led UAE football team concluded their training camp in Salzburg, Austria.   

The team is currently preparing for the Asian qualifiers of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and AFC Asian Cup China 2023.

Dutchman van Marwijk, who replaced Italian Alberto Zaccheroni last March, gathered his team in Munich, Germany before travelling to Salzburg.

UAE, who are among the 34 teams to have received a bye into the second round of the Asian qualifiers, will begin their campaign on Sept.5 with their second match five days later.

Divided into eight groups of five, these sides will battle it out against each other across ten months from Sept.5 to June 9 2020, with the eight section winners and four best runners-up advancing. Should Qatar win their group, the other seven group winners and five best runners-up who progress to the next stage.

Group G is definitely an interesting one to watch with four South-east Asia teams crossing paths in what looks a regional competition.

Joining the quartet is the group’s top seed, UAE, who aim to seal their World Cup return. While the Italy 1990 participants are the highly-favoured side, they cannot underestimate their competition.

Both Thailand and Vietnam pose a threat considering their impressive displays in this year’s AFC Asian Cup, while Indonesia and Malaysia can spring a surprise or two.

The 24-man squad sees the inclusion of shot stopper Adel Al Hosani, who won the Golden Glove Award at the season-ending 2018-19 UAE Pro League awards. Al Jazira’s Khalfan Mubarak, who was named the Best Emirati Player, has also been included.

Absent from the nine-day get-together are 2016 AFC Player of the Omar, who is still nursing an injury, as well as 2015 AFC Asian Cup top scorer Ali Mabkhout and Al Jazira team-mate Zayed Al Ameri.

The list is free of Al Wahda players, who are preparing for the 2019 AFC Champions League Round of 16 clash with Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr.

Under Zaccheroni, UAE reached the semi-finals of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup on home soil.

The Emiratis bowed out to eventual winners Qatar 4-0 at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Following the camp in July, the squad will reconvene again from Aug.24 to Sept.10 ahead of the two qualifiers.

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