Dubai's Al Wasl makes bid for Diego Forlan

Dubai's Al Wasl makes bid for Diego Forlan

Published May. 24, 2011 7:02 p.m. ET

Dubai's Al Wasl has made a bid for Atletico Madrid striker Diego Forlan and is awaiting a response from the Spanish side.

Al Wasl, which hired Diego Maradona as coach this month, said in a statement on Tuesday it made an ''improved bid'' of a one-year loan to Atletico after its initial offer to purchase Forlan was rejected.

Al Wasl did not provide details of how much it was willing to pay for the 32-year-old striker from Uruguay, who won the Golden Ball award as the best player of the 2010 World Cup.

The club has insisted it plans to bolster the squad now that Maradona has signed on for two years. The 50-year-old Maradona has been out of coaching since he led Argentina to the 2010 World Cup quarterfinals. It has said that players from the Middle East and Europe have offered to come play since the Maradona announcement but Forlan was the first the club was actively courting.


''Diego Forlan ... has expressed his desire to join Al Wasl Football Club and is impressed with the club's vision and forward thinking strategy especially after appointing Maradona as coach,'' the club said.

The Atletico player has said repeatedly that he wants to leave the Spanish club. Forlan has twice won the Golden Boot award as Europe's leading scorer, and last season led Atletico to its first trophy in 14 years in winning the Europa League.

But this year, his goal tally has fallen off and in the second half of the season he was repeatedly benched by coach Quique Sanchez Flores in favor of strikers Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa.

The club rebuffed interest in Forlan in January reportedly from Juventus and other European clubs. There was nothing about the Al Wasl offer on Atletico's website.

If the sale goes through, it would be the biggest name signed to play in the UAE Football League, which is in its third season.

Last year, Dubai club Al Ahli signed former Juventus captain Fabio Cannavaro, who has struggled with injuries in his first season.