As the 2022/23 season begins to take shape in leagues across the world, a number of Iraqi players’ futures have yet to be decided, while several major transfers have already taken place this summer. Read this round-up to ensure you are familiar with all the latest – and don’t forget to follow Soccer Iraq on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to stay updated!
Left-back Mohanad Jeahze is very much a wanted man, having had an excellent year with Hammarby where he has racked up several assists from the left flank. However, it looks more and more likely that he will be staying put until the end of the Allsvenskan season. After waving off interest from Scottish giants Celtic, the Swedish side rejected an offer of around €1 million Euros from Turkish club Besiktas as it did not meet their asking price. Jeahze even refused to take to the field for Hammarby in an attempt to force a move away, but he has since apologised to the club and fans and has been reintegrated into the team.
Another Iraqi left-back whose future was up in the air was Ali Adnan, the former Udinese and Atalanta star. Ali only played one league game for Danish side Vejle Boldklub until injury ruled him out for several months and he was released. After spending three weeks training at Russian second-tier club Rubin Kazan to build up his fitness, Ali Adnan was offered a contract by the club and has now officially joined them on a one-year deal, with the option of an extra year.
After a good start to the 2021/22 Iraqi Premier League season with Zakho, Yaser Kasim returned to the national team squad for the FIFA Arab Cup and seemed to be on his way to sign for Spanish club CF Fuenlabrada. However, after that deal fell through, Yaser spent the remainder of the season without a club and fans were left wondering what his future holds. He recently went on trial with English fifth-tier side Notts County, but as of now he remains unattached and has started a new journey as a co-owner of a football club in London.
The player who has been on everybody’s lips throughout the summer, Zidane Iqbal starred for the Manchester United first team in pre-season under new coach Erik ten Hag and put in a number of good performances for the Red Devils. Zidane has continued to train with the first-team following the start of the Premier League season having impressed the new boss, but with three weeks of the transfer window to go, the club may decide to send him out on loan to gain more first-team experience. This could especially be the case if United sign a new first-team midfielder such as Adrien Rabiot, and it is a discussion that ten Hag is expected to have with technical director Darren Fletcher. Wherever he ends up this season, the future looks bright for the young Iraq star.
Ali Faez is currently without a club having finished his contract at Kuwaiti side Al-Qadsia. The defender’s intention is to join another foreign club, but as of now he and his agent have been unable to seal a move. If he does not join a foreign club, he is likely to return to the Iraqi Premier League to join fellow defender Dhurgham Ismail at Baghdad side Al-Talaba. A potential move back to his former club Al-Shorta was also touted, but their signing of Iraq international defender Manaf Younis has tilted the odds in favour of Al-Aneeq.
Experienced Iraqi winger Humam Tariq remains under contract at Libyan side Al-Ahly Benghazi where he has spent the past year. The 26 year-old is set to meet with the club’s management soon to discuss whether he will stay or leave, and he has offers from Arab clubs including one from Qatari side Muaither, where Ahmed Yasin once plied his trade. The player has also stated that if he were to return to the Iraqi Premier League, it would only be for his boyhood club Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya where he has spent the majority of his career.
Another Iraqi under contract at a North African side is Hussein Ali, who has two years left on his contract at Tunisian club CS Sfaxien. The tricky midfielder, who scored a well-taken goal against UAE in the recent World Cup Qualifiers, had been linked to a move to Iraqi champions Al-Shorta, but it was his former side Al-Zawraa who ended up entering into negotiations to sign him. However, Al-Zawraa’s advances were rejected by the Tunisian side who have decided to hold on to Hussein Ali due to his importance to the team, and so it seems he will be staying put this summer.
Finally, the confirmed transfers…
In case you missed them, here are some of the main transfers that have already been finalised during the current transfer window:
Sherko Karim from Erbil to Al-Kuwait (Kuwait)
Aso Rustam from Newroz to Al-Salmiya (Kuwait)
Aymen Hussein from Umm Salal (Qatar) to Al-Markhiya (Qatar)
Saad Natiq from Al-Shorta to Al-Batin (Saudi Arabia)
Mustafa Nadhim from Al-Najma (Bahrain) to Al-Faisaly (Jordan)
Frans Putros from Viborg FF (Denmark) to Port (Thailand)
Amir Al-Ammari from IFK Göteborg (Sweden) to Mjällby AIF (Sweden) on loan
Safaa Hadi from Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya to Tractor (Iran)
Mohanad Ali from Al-Duhail (Qatar) to Al-Sailiya (Qatar) on loan
Merchas Doski from FC Wacker Innsbruck (Austria) to 1. FC Slovácko (Czech Republic)
Kenan Adel from Al-Najaf to Al-Majd (Syria)
Waleed Bahar to Al-Jazeera (Jordan)