FORMER MANCHESTER CITY STRIKER ALVARO NEGREDO JOINS AL NASR
Al Nasr have signed former Manchester City and Valencia striker Alvaro Negredo.
The Spaniard, who was part of City's 2013/14 Premier League title success, joins the Dubai side having this week terminated his contract with Turkey’s Besiktas.
Negredo had enjoyed a strong start to season in Istanbul, scoring three goals in five appearances, including one last month in the Europa League.
However, he agreed a two-year deal with Nasr and was announced as their player on Tuesday after coming through a medical.
He is expected to earn €3.5 million (Dh15m) per season.
Negredo, 33, takes the fourth foreign slot in Nasr’s squad. He replaces Iury Lirio, the Brazilian summer signing who did not impress the club’s management despite scoring twice in four matches this month.
Nasr will be wishing for an immediate impact from Negredo after a disappointing first few weeks of the new season. They were defeated 1-0 at home to Ajman in the Arabian Gulf League opener on August 30, then lost 6-3 at Sharjah last Friday.
Aiming to challenge for the top-flight title this campaign, Nasr were 5-0 down within 41 minutes. The club won the last of their three UAE championships 32 years ago.
Things do not get much easier this week, though, with Ivan Jovanovic’s men hosting UAE champions Al Ain at temporary home, the Maktoum bin Rashid Stadium, on Friday. It is hoped Negredo will be available for that encounter.
The forward, who was once on the book of Real Madrid, rose to prominence at Almeria and then Sevilla in Spain’s Primera Liga, earning a reported £16.4m (Dh79m) move to Manchester City in 2013.
He scored nine goals in 32 matches to help City win the title under Manuel Pellegrini in the 2013/14 campaign. Despite that he joined Valencia the following summer, initially on loan.
The transfer was made permanent a year later, before Negredo returned to the Premier League with Middlesbrough, although only on loan.
He struck nine times in 36 games and then sealed the switch to Besiktas in August last year, going on to score nine goals again, this time in 35 Super Lig appearances.
Negredo is said to have left the club by mutual consent. He has been capped 21 times by Spain, scoring 10 times, and was part of the squad that won Eurp 2012.
At Nasr, he joins fellow former Premier League player Yohan Cabaye - a summer recruit from Crystal Palace – and Brazilian duo Marcos Gabriel and Samuel Rosa.