Kuala Lumpur: Keep up to date with all the major comings and goings across Asia here on the-AFC.com.
United Arab Emirates’ Al Jazira have announced the signing of Lassana Diarra from France’s Ligue 1 Olympique de Marseille. The former Chelsea, Arsenal, and Real Madrid midfielder also wears the national outfit. Al Jazira secured their second UAE Pro League title, and Diarra will look to play alongside Ahmed Khalil and Sardor Rashidov who were also recently signed.
Ali Al Habsi has transferred to Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal on a three-year contract from Reading FC ahead of the 2017 AFC Champions League quarter-finals. The Omani goalkeeper began his club career with Al Mudhaibi Club in 1998 before moving to Al Nasr SC in 2002. The 35-year old then moved to Norway to play for Lyn Football on a three-year contract, before playing with England’s Bolton Wanderers FC, Wigan Athletic FC and eventually to Reading in 2015. Al Hilal are scheduled to face Al Ain of the United Arab Emirates in the 2017 AFC Champions League first leg quarter-finals on August 21.
Ahmed Khalil has signed with Al Jazira of the United Arab Emirates after 11 years with Dubai’s Al Ahli. The 26-year-old had been with the UAE national teams since 2004 - starting in the U-17 side, before progressing to the senior team where he featured in the latest FIFA World Cup Asian qualifier match against Thailand in June. Despite Al Ahli’s loss to Guangzhou Evergrande in the 2015 AFC Champions League final, Khalil’s performance throughout the year, including the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, earned him the AFC Player of the Year award.
The Abu Dhabi-based club have also signed Sardor Rashidov from El Jaish. The Uzbek forward started his professional career with Sogdiana Jizzakh, before moving to FC Bunyodkor where he assisted the club to three Uzbek League titles in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Al Jazira claimed their second UAE Pro League title since 2010, and will look to defend their crown with the help of Khalil and Rashidov.
Matias Britos has completed his move to Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal ahead of their 2017 AFC Champions League quarter-finals match against Al Ain. The 28-year-old Uruguayan began his professional career with Atenas, before transferring to Juventud, Rampla Juniors and Defensor Sporting. The striker then moved to Mexico to join Leon and Club Universidad Nacional in the Liga MX. Al Hilal will face Al Ain for the AFC Champions League quarter-finals on August 21.