Johnson 'keen' on UAE move
Fulham forward is keen on a new challenge, says player's agent
Last Updated: May 30, 2012 11:19am
Andy Johnson: Interested in leaving English football for UAE's Pro League
Andy Johnson is interested in walking away from English football to pursue his career in the UAE, according to his agent.
The Fulham striker is out of contract this summer and appears to have set his sights on a move to the Emirates.
The former England international's representative Anthony McFarlane suggests Dubai is the preferred destination because it is a city that Johnson knows well.
"It's something he has firmly been thinking about," McFarlane told Sport360°. "He is now 31, and he has never been in this situation in his career where he is available on a Bosman.
"His mind is open and he's looking at all his options, both here in England and abroad. He is keen on a new challenge and very interested in a move to the UAE provided the offer is right.
"He's married, he's got two kids and a move to the UAE would provide a nice lifestyle and a new experience for AJ and his family.
"There have been no concrete offers as such at this moment in time, but there has been strong interest from a number of clubs in the gulf area, including a couple from the UAE.
"Without a doubt, he is looking at it. It's just a case of weighing up his options and making sure he joins the right club.
"This hasn't come out of the blue. Andy has been on holiday with his family a number of times to Dubai. He is familiar with the city.
"He knows where to go, how to get about and the culture of the people. It would be like a home from home.
"The majority of people speak English; all the road signs are in English. It would be a great place for him and his family to go.
"First and foremost it is for footballing reasons and secondly it has to be right for his family.
"He is going to go somewhere where his children and wife can settle quickly, where there are English speaking schools, a good quality of life and where he can enjoy his football and enjoy family life.
"All those things come hand in hand when you mention the UAE whereas some other places I'm not so sure that would be the case so that is why so attractive open to him."
The UAE's Pro League has a growing reputation with Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan playing a leading role in Al Ain's race to the title this season.
Diego Maradona is in charge at Al Wasl and Johnson's fellow former Everton player Lucas Neill plays for Al Jasira.
"He is aware as he can be of the Pro League," adds McFarlane. "He knows people who work at different clubs there.
"He has seen a little bit of the football and knows a little bit of the standard. He has a good understanding of what he'd be letting himself in for.
"I'm sure if he was to come out to the UAE and play, his new club and fans would love him."