Maradona meets with Dubai club Al Wasl

Maradona meets with Dubai club Al Wasl

DUBAI - The Associated Press
Maradona meets with Dubai club Al Wasl

Football legend Diego Maradona poses for a picture with an unidentified Emirati official at the Al-Wasel football club, May 14, 2011, Dubai. Local newspapers quoted an official at the club saying that "Maradona would return in due course and "throughout the year" implying his involvement is of a more long-term nature than a short visit. AFP photo

The up-and-coming Arab football scene is likely to be boosted with a blockbuster signing, as the Argentine football legend Diego Maradona is close to a deal with Al Wasl.

Maradona is in the United Arab Emirates amid reports linking him with a coaching vacancy at domestic club Al Wasl.

The 50-year-old Argentine football icon, who has been out of coaching since he led Argentina to the 2010 World Cup quarterfinals, visited the club's training facility Saturday.

Al Wasl is fourth in the domestic league, the UAE Football League, and has been looking for coach since firing Sergio Farias in March. A spokesman for the club says it would have an announcement Sunday but refused to provide details. The team is currently playing under interim coach Mubarak Khalifa.

A UAE sports newspaper, Sport 360, quoted a club official as saying it was in talks to hire Maradona.

“This is a paradise,” Maradona, arguably the greatest footballer of all time said on arriving in Dubai, reported the Clarin newspaper of Buenos Aires.