Iraq's Akram impresses Eriksson
Nashat Akram has his trial extended at Man City and is close to signing a deal.
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2008 13:06 GMT

Iraqi midfielder Nashat Akram, left, is looking for a permanent move to Manchester City [GALLO/GETTY]

Nashat Akram, Iraqi midfielder, has had his trial at Manchester City extended by manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, and may be close to signing a permanent deal with the English Premier League club.
Eriksson said the 23-year-old, who was instrumental in Iraq's Asian Cup triumph last year, impressed him during the initial week-long trial.
"He's a very good football player, he will need to get used to the style of English football but he's a very elegant player and in the Asian Cup he was one of the very best in the tournament," Eriksson told Man City's official website.

"He can do a little bit of everything in both attack and defence. He's a technically correct player."

Sven-Goran Eriksson,
Manchester City manager

"We need to fix the work permits but I don't think that will be a problem.
"He can do a little bit of everything in both attack and defence. I think he is one for the future... he's good. He's a technically correct player."
Akram, who came third in the vote for the 2007 Asian Player of the Year award, would become the first Iraqi to play in a top European league since the 1950s.
Hamad Al Ameri, director of football at Al Ain, Akram's club in the United Arab Emirates, said an agreement had already been reached between the two clubs and that a medical had been undertaken, but no contract signed.
"The only thing left before signing the contract is getting the work permit," Al Ameri was quoted as saying on the Asian Football Confederation's website.
Neither a transfer fee nor length of contract was revealed.
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