Al Jazira make double transfer (TEST)

Al Jazira have begun gearing up for the new season after they announced the purchases of midfielders Salem Abdulla and Humaid Ahmed, as well as the return of two-time former-coach Jan Versleijen as an assistant.

Al Jazira have begun gearing up for the new season after they announced the purchases of midfielders Salem Abdulla and Humaid Ahmed, as well as the return of two-time former-coach Jan Versleijen as an assistant.

The moves for Abdulla, 30, and Ahmed, 28, mark the first incom- ings into the President’s Cup holders this summer. Confirmation of their expected transfers finally arrived late on Thursday, with the former joining from Al Wasl in exchange for erratic right-back Khalid Sabeal, 29, and latter from relegated Fujairah.

Versleijen’s comeback adds another Dutchman to a technicalstaff which includes coach Henk ten Cate and fellow assistant Piet Hamberg. The 60-year-old previously led the club from 2001-03 and 2006-07.

The Pride of Abu Dhabi are looking to build on last term’s cup triumph and forget the painful memories of their disappointing seventh-placed finish in the Arabian Gulf League.

Talks continue for Al Ain pair Mohammed Fawzi and Ibrahim Diaky. They remain hopeful that a consensus can be reached in the coming days.

UAE right-back Fawzi, 26, would add significant quality to a defence which was the third-worst in 2015/16, while 34-year-old centre midfielder Diaky previously scored 52 times in 215 appearances at Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium from 2005-13.

Of the confirmed additions, Abdulla failed to find the back of the net in 16 AGL games last term. He is a youth product from Al Ain, for whom he debuted a decade ago.

Ahmed is a box-to-box midfielder who scored once in 12 top-flight matches in 2015/16. He made his bow for Sharjah in 2008, later moving to Al Nasr in 2012 for a two-year spell.

Versleijen is a well-travelled coach, who has been unemployed since he left South Africa’s Ajax Cape Town in 2013.

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