Sport | Football

Al Nasr release star striker Bangoura until January

Forward will be unavailable for club due to African Nations build-up

  • By Ashley Hammond, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 October 26, 2011
  • Gulf News

Dubai: Al Nasr switched strikers Esmail Bangoura and Carlos Tenorio for Rodrigo Careca and Amara Diane before midnight on Monday, the transfer deadline day. The news comes after Sharjah released newly signed Vandinho for Igor Duric.

The decision to axe Esmail Bangoura, even on a temporary basis, has taken many by surprise at the club, where earlier this week Shaikh Maktoum Bin Hasher Al Maktoum also announced his resignation as chairman.

The position of coach Walter Zenga is said to be "safe" however, according to sources close to the new board, despite two losses and a draw from four Cup games, and in the league - one loss, one draw.

Guinean international Bangoura, 26, scored 17 goals from 31 league and Cup games last season and was widely admired for his contribution which led the club to third in the table from tenth. Rival Al Ahli chairman Abdullah Al Naboodah even said not signing the former Ajaccio, Le Mans, Dynamo Kiev and Rennes attacker was his biggest regret.

Al Nasr team manager, Khalid Obaid explained: "Bangoura has a three- match suspension and then he will be missing for the African Cup of Nations [January 21 - February 12]. It was decided he would be away for too long and this wouldn't be of use to the team. He has effectively been granted international leave to prepare for this competition. He's not been released, he will train with us and there is a view to bring him back after January."

Brazilian striker Rodrigo ‘Careca' Vergilio, 28, who was on loan at Al Nasr from Al Kuwait last season (with six from ten) has been recalled to replace Bangoura, cancelling a new contract with Al Qadsia in the process.

Ivorian striker Amara Diane, 29, meanwhile replaces Ecuadorian 32-year-old Carlos Tenorio. Diane has represented French and Qatari clubs; US Roye, Reims, Strasbourg, Paris Saint Germain, Al Rayyan and Al Ghurafa.

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