• Premier League

Andy Johnson considering UAE move

ESPN staff
May 30, 2012
Andy Johnson's time in Fulham colours could be coming to an end © Getty Images

The agent of Fulham striker Andrew Johnson has revealed that the player is strongly considering making a move to the United Arab Emirates.

Johnson is out of contract in the summer, with attempts from the Craven Cottage club to reach an agreement over a new deal currently failing to reach fruition.

The former Crystal Palace and Everton forward's agent, Anthony McFarlane, has now revealed that the 31-year-old could make the switch to the Middle East.

"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."

McFarlane believes Johnson will have no problem adjusting to the area if he does decide to make the move.

"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," McFarlane added.

"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 it is so attractive to him."

On-loan Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan and Diego Maradona are among the high-profile names who currently ply their trade in UAE's Pro League, although McFarlane hinted Johnson does not know too much about the standard of the competition beyond that.

"He is aware as he can be of the Pro League," he said. "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."

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