Lebanon international Hassan Maatouk signs with UAE club Emirates

The highly-rated Cedars attacker reportedly attracted interest from several French Ligue 1 clubs but has decided to remain in UAE to join the relegation-threatened side
Lebanon international forward Hassan Maatouk has ignored reported interest from France to join UAE club Emirates on a one-year deal.

The 24-year-old Beirut-born winger/striker had allegedly attracted interested from French trio Olympique Marseille, Nice and Ajaccio.

However, Maatouk, who spent the 2011-12 term on loan at Ajman from Lebanese club Al Ahli, has opted to remain in UAE to join Emirates who face a relegation playoff in September.

Al Ahli had put a Dh1.835 million (almost €400,000) price tag on Maatouk and according to The National they accepted a Dh2.93m (€635,000) offer from Emirates who are desperate to retain their top flight status.

"We had been negotiating with Maatouk for some time now and we are glad to finally close the deal," an Emirates spokesperson told The National.

"With Maatouk and (Modibo) Diarra in the side, we believe we have a great chance of winning back our position in the Pro League."

Follow Ben Somerford on

Follow Goal.com Asia on and for the latest in Asian footballing news, features, and analysis