We’re less than a week into July but there have already been a lot of reports and rumours regarding the summer transfers of Iraq’s main players. Some are looking likely to be returning to the Iraqi League while others have moves to the Arabian Gulf or even Europe in sight, and with this round-up you will be up to date with all the latest. Don’t forget to follow Soccer Iraq on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!
A whole host of top European clubs including the likes of Juventus and Manchester City have enquired about or made offers for Mimi in the past six months, and another European giant recently expressed their interest in the Al-Shorta striker. Turkish club Fenerbahçe made a €900,000 offer for the teenager in a letter dated 18 June 2019 that was released by the Iraqi media. The offer included a €100,000 bonus for Al-Shorta if Fenerbahçe qualified for the UEFA Champions League with Mimi having played 15 league games in the process, as well as Al-Shorta earning an extra 10% if Mimi is sold to another club in the future. The player recently told The New Arab that he would prefer to move to Europe rather to an Arab team, but major Iraqi news outlets continue to suggest that Qatar or UAE are more likely destinations for the teenager.
The joint-second highest goalscorer in the 2019 AFC Champions League group stage, Alaa Abbas, is set to move to either Saudi side Damac FC or Qatari club Qatar SC on loan for next season. Both clubs have made offers to Iraq FA Cup finalists Al-Zawraa for the 21 year-old and his eventual destination should become clear in the coming weeks.
Humam Tariq has officially decided not to continue with Iranian club Esteghlal due to not receiving all of his financial dues. Waleed Al-Zaidi, vice-chairman of his former club Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, stated that Humam has expressed his desire to return to the Iraqi club next season and it seems to be a matter of time before the 23 year-old is back wearing the shirt of The Falcons.
Another player seemingly returning to the Iraqi Premier League is 22 year-old Hussein Ali. The midfielder finished an unspectacular spell at Qatar SC, although he did score the goal that kept the club in the top-flight, and has stated that if he is not able to move to another foreign club, the only team he will play for is Al-Zawraa – his “first and last home”.
Bashar Resan, who helped Persepolis to two consecutive league titles and an AFC Champions League final, is another Iraqi who has fallen foul to an Iranian club failing to pay financial dues. He told Iraqi television that he is owed 40% of his old contract, and that the club has yet to offer him an official new contract. Only time will tell whether fan favourite Bashar stays at the club or finds a move away.
Çaykur Rizespor centre-back Ali Faez has struggled to get game time in Turkey since his move in 2016, and spent the past two seasons on loan at other clubs; first with Al-Shorta in Iraq and then with Qatari club Al-Kharaitiyat. But Rizespor refuse to loan him out again, and the player will soon be meeting with representatives of two Arabian Gulf clubs to see if he can find a new club.
Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya defender Saad Natiq has accused his club of a lack of respect after they refused to pay him his final financial reward for his efforts throughout the season. He is not the first Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya to make a financially-related complaint, with Emad Mohsin doing the same earlier in the season although the latter has since bounced back to become a key player in their title bid. Reports in Iraq suggest that Saad, formerly of Al-Arabi in Qatar, is close to signing for Al-Shorta.
Portuguese media recently reported that giants Benfica were interested in bringing in Osama Rashid, currently of fellow Portuguese top-flight club Santa Clara, for $2 million. The Iraq international midfielder was impressive in captaining his side to a respectable tenth place finish in Liga NOS, scoring seven goals on the way, but Osama told Iraqi Pro Players that he is still under contract at Santa Clara for two seasons and he remains a Santa Clara player for now at least.
This one is not a rumour but rather an official piece of news. Ali Adnan, formerly of Udinese in Serie A, has signed for Canadian club Vancouver Whitecaps on a permanent basis making him the most expensive full-back in MLS history. Way to go, Alawi!