Mar­cus Berg is set for switch to Al Ain from Panathanaikos.

Panathi­naikos striker on his way to Gar­den City

The National - News - Sport - - FRONT PAGE - John McAu­ley

Mar­cus Berg looks set to com­plete his trans­fer from Panathi­naikos to Al Ain for €3 mil­lion (Dh12.3m).

The Swe­den striker, 30, had agreed last week to move to the Ara­bian Gulf League side and vis­ited the Gar­den City to dis­cuss his fi­nan­cial pack­age and ac­com­mo­da­tion, al­though the two clubs could not agree on a fee.

Al Ain had orig­i­nally wanted to pay €2.5m for Berg, but Panathi­naikos de­manded closer to the €5m re­lease clause in the player’s con­tract, which runs un­til June 2019. How­ever, a mem­ber of the Greek side’s board trav­elled to Al Ain yes­ter­day – Berg’s agent was be­lieved to also be in at­ten­dance – to iron out any dif­fer­ences be­tween the clubs, clear­ing the way for the trans­fer to be fi­nalised.

Berg is ex­pected to sign a three-year deal with Al Ain.

The front­man has been pro­lific for Panathi­naikos since join­ing from Ger­many’s Ham­burg in 2013, scor­ing 73 goals in 116 league matches.

He top-scored in the 2016/17 Greek Su­per League’s reg­u­lar sea­son, find­ing the net 22 times in 28 games.

Berg, who be­gan his ca­reer with IFK Gothen­burg and also briefly rep­re­sented PSV Eid­hoven in the Nether­lands, is a reg­u­lar for his na­tional team and was part of the side that de­feated France in their World Cup qual­i­fier on June 9.

He has fea­tured 47 times for his coun­try, scor­ing 12 goals. Al Ain, Asian Cham­pi­ons League run­ners-up last year, have al­ready re­cruited Ja­panese mid­fielder Tsukasa Shiotani as they seek to con­clude their trans­fer busi­ness early. They play Saudi Ara­bia’s Al Hi­lal in the Cham­pi­ons League quar­ter-fi­nals later this sum­mer, with the first leg tak­ing place on Au­gust 21.

Al Ain re­main in the mar­ket for one more for­eign player, with Al Nassr de­fender Bruno Uvini linked strongly. Zo­ran Mamic, the Al Ain man­ager, knows the player well from his time in charge of the Saudi side last year.

It re­mains to be seen if Al Ain will choose to bol­ster their at­tack in­stead, though, since Colom­bian winger Danilo Asprilla is al­lowed to leave. Turkey and China have been touted as pos­si­ble destinations.

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