Hamburg join Man City in hunt for UAE star Abdulrahman
Hamburg deal-maker Frank Arnesen admits the German club are monitoring UAE's highly-rated playmaker Omar Abdulrahman, but stopped short of saying whether they would launch a bid for his services.
Abdulrahman, 21, is the hottest property in Middle Eastern football right now after playing a starring role in the UAE's recent Gulf Cup triumph in Bahrain.
Scorer of a virtuoso effort in the final as the UAE beat Iraq 2-1 to clinch a second regional title after their maiden success in 2007, Abdulrahman was later named Player of the Tournament.
The accolade was just reward for the Al Ain midfielder, whose stock has been on the rise since catching the eye with a number of impressive display's for UAE's Under-23 side at last summer's London Olympics.
Abdulrahman turned down a summer move to Manchester City after impressing during a two-week trial with the English Premier League champions, but it appears only a matter of time before the prodigiously talented midfielder moves to Europe.
Aside from City, who continue to monitor his progress, Sport360° understands that Portuguese giants Benfica are also keeping tabs on the frizzy-haired star, as are Hamburg.
Speaking exclusively to Sport360°, Hamburg's sporting director, Arnesen, spoke glowingly of Abdulrahman and believes the Saudi-born youngster has all the attributes to become one of the game's brightest talents in the coming years.
“We have seen Omar Abdulrahman play numerous times, and he is one of the best players in that age category in the Gulf region," said Arnesen.
"He is a good dribbler with fine technique, good ball control with good forward vision and passing. If he keeps his feet on the ground and keeps working at his game, he has a bright future ahead of him.”
Arnesen's praise of Abdulrahman will lead to speculation of a bid in the future, with the Dane acknowledging on his recent visit to the UAE that Humburg must be "creative" in the transfer market as they can no longer compete with Europe's big spenders.
The German club have instead focused on signing young, up-and-coming talent with the likes of 23-year-old Croatian midfielder, Milan Badelj, and South Korean striker Son Heung-Min, 20, fruits of that policy in recent times.
Hamburg were one of three German clubs in the UAE earlier this month as they stepped up their preparations for the resumption of the domestic season which kicked off last weekend following the winter break.
The Bundesliga, assisted by Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing, also brought Borussia Moenchengladbach to the region as they continue in their attempts to expand their ever-growing brand across Asia.
And what better way to do that than have one of their clubs sign the poster boy of Gulf football...
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