Abu Dhabi’s Man City chase UAE youngster

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Officials at English Premier League champions Manchester City say they are monitoring the progress of UAE youngster Omar Abdulraham.

Speaking to magazine Sport360, the football club’s academy chief Brian Marwood described 21-year old Abdulrahman as “a real talent”. The attacking midfielder, who currently plays for UAE Pro League side Al Ain, spent two weeks on trial in Manchester in August last year.

“We had seen him at various tournaments but obviously we saw him closer to home at the Olympics and he did very, very well,” Marwood told the publication.

“I think he enjoyed the experience, we enjoyed having him with us. He is a very talented young player,” he added.

However, the Manchester City youth boss admitted that there were work permit issues to overcome if the club were to sign-up the player. “There are some real challenges getting a player like him to be able to play in England which is very frustrating because it’s one that we would seriously look at,” Marwood said, adding that he would “continue to monitor him”.

Manchester City are reportedly not the only side interested in acquiring Abdulrahman’s services. Spanish La Liga club Valencia are said to be planning to send scouts to watch the player, while Portugal’s Benfica, Arsenal, Barcelona, Malaga and Hamburg are all said to be keeping tabs on the midfielder’s progress.

Abdulrahman has made 16 appearances for the UAE’s senior side, scoring four goals. Since 2008 he has turned out 53 times for club side Al Ain, netting 21 times.

Manchester City already have significant ties to the Gulf state, having been bought out by Sheikh Mansour’s Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008.

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