UAE boss Ali hoping Abdulrahman secures European move

The Al Ain attacking midfielder has really caught the eye during the London Games and his coach would like to see him secure a move to a high-profile team
United Arab Emirates Under-23s boss Mahdi Ali insists he knows nothing of rumours linking Omar Abdulrahman with a move to a top European club, but freely admits that he would welcome such a development.

Abdulrahman has attracted a lot of attention for his performances at the 2012 Olympics, with Team GB defender Micah Richards claiming that 20-year-old attacking midfielder is a potential star of the future.

There is now speculation that the Al Ain ace could be snapped up by one of Europe's elite and Ali is hoping that there is some truth in the rumours.

"I don't know anything about it," he told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday. "We have just heard about this and if there is something there, it should be between the player and the club.

"But we would be very pleased to see UAE players in Europe. It would give us more experience and the team would benefit."

Ali was speaking after his side's final Group A outing, against Senegal. Despite seeing their hopes of ending their campaign with a victory, with with Pape Moussa Konate cancelling out Ismail Matar's opener, the UAE boss was proud of his side's display against a team that he believes could claim a medal.

"I think today's game was a very strong game and very tough," he continued. "I think the UAE team tried their best in this tournament to play a fun game and make it an exciting game for those who watch.

"At this tournament you have teams from different continents and for us, we can play with South American and European countries, but playing with an African team is a new experience. They are very physically strong and have a different style of play.

"We have seen Senegal for three games now. They have shown a very strong mentality, they are physically and tactically very strong and I think they will be one of the contending teams at the Olympics."

Senegal progressed as runners-up in Group A to Team GB, who defeated Uruguay 1-0 thanks to a goal from Daniel Sturridge.