EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke
Rangers face a battle with a host of Europe’s top clubs for Iraqi wonderkid Mohanad Ali, Football Insider understands.
Ali has been earning rave reviews at this month’s Asian Cup, scoring two goals in three games to help Iraq reach the last 16 of the tournament in the United Arab Emirates.
Scottish giants Rangers have an interest in the skilful attacker, but Ali’s performances at the Asian Cup have brought him to the attention of a host of clubs across Europe’s top leagues.
The likes Napoli, Borussia Dortmund and Anderlecht are all thought to be admirers of Ali and have jetted out to watch him at the Asian Cup, along with the Scottish giants.
The 18-year-old is regarded as one of the most exciting talents to emerge in Iraq for a number of years and is tipped for a bright future.
Ali is a prolific goalscorer at club and international having scored 37 goals in 77 appearances for current club Al-Shorta and during a loan spell at Al-Kahrabaa as well as eight goals in 14 appearances for his country.
Ali’s agent, Christian Emile of Base Soccer, is aware of the growing interest in the striker, but insists the player is focused on the Asian Cup and not his future.
“After his performances with the Iraq national team it is only natural that there is enormous interest in Mohanad Ali from some of Europe’s biggest teams as well as the biggest clubs in the Arabic countries,” said Emile to Football Insider.
“However, we are calm and will make a decision when the time is right and for now the player’s focus is fully on the Asian Cup.”
In other Rangers transfer news, it can be REVEALED that the Scottish giants are tabling a bid for a Tottenham star.