With UAE Pro League club Al Wasl signing two new players, Australia captain Lucas Neill has been released on a free transfer
|By GOAL AUSTRALIA
UPDATE: Lucas Neill has been released for the second time in a year, with United Arab Emirates club Al Wasl dumping the Australia captain.
Sitting ninth in the UAE Pro League, Al Wasl have shaken up their squad with the signing of two new imports - Iraq international defender Ahmad Ibrahim and Brazilian striker Jose Carlos Ferreira.
With UAE clubs only allowed four imports, including one spot restricted to players from other countries in the Asian Football Confederation, Ibrahim will replace Neill, while Egyptian forward Shikabala will leave to make way for Ferreira.
Neill's release comes just eight months after he was cut by UAE's Al Jazira and throws his immediate future in doubt, with the January transfer window almost closed in Europe.
While Neill has avoided a return to the A-League so far in his career in favour of more money in the Middle East, the transfer window in Australia will remain open until midway through February and may be his only option.
The former Blackburn, West Ham and Galatasaray man was linked with a move to Tianjin Teda last month but, with ex-Brisbane Roar midfielder Erik Paartalu having signed with the Chinese Super League club, a move there seems unlikely.
The 34-year-old defender was named in Holger Osieck's squad on Wednesday for Australia's friendly against Romania, which will be held in Spain next Wednesday.
Neill played 11 games for Al Wasl but fell out of favour when Bruno Metsu quit as head coach in October having been diagnosed with stomach cancer.