Report: Red Bulls’ Tim Cahill has ‘tentative deal’ with Al Wahda

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

Are the New York Red Bulls close to losing one of their remaining Designated Players?

According to a report from UAE’s ‘The National,’ Tim Cahill has a ‘tentative deal’ in place to join Abu Dhabi club Al Wahda of th UAE Pro-League. The report cites team sources who claim a deal is imminent.

“Cahill’s performance at the Asian Cup and the World Cup last year has really caught the eye of the Wahda top management and we can say a tentative deal is in place,” the source tells National. “There is nothing formal yet though and we will have to wait until the end of the Asian Cup before a formal deal is signed.”

Cahill has a year remaining on his contract with the New York Red Bulls. However, a rift between player and club has sparked rumors of a departure for the better part of six months. In that time, the Australian striker visited the UAE and spoke glowingly about the country’s growing football culture.

“The Middle East is growing and it’s somewhere that I enjoy coming to a lot and in the future it’s where I could possibly be playing football,” he said. “The UAE is such a fantastic country with great people and a great lifestyle as well. It’s something that’s really nice.”

Whether that will be his final destination is yet to be confirmed.  For his part, new Red Bulls coach Jesse Marsch has publicly stated his attempts to mend fences with the wayward superstar, but called the situation a “tricky” one.

“I’ve communicated with Tim in Australia in Asian Cup,” Marsch began, adding “Tim is tricky. He is a great player, we all know that, but it is hard to know if he wants to be here or not.

“If he is here, he has to be part of the team like it’s in his heart. It can’t be because there is a big paycheck,” he told the fans.  “We want guys that want to be here and … we need 28 guys that feel the exact same way.”