News ID: 322926
Published: 0915 GMT July 16, 2022

Rezaeian signs for Sepahan; Ghafouri to join Foolad

Rezaeian signs for Sepahan; Ghafouri to join Foolad

Ramin Rezaeian poses for a photo with the Sepahan shirt in Isfahan, central Iran, on July 15, 2022.

Sports Desk

Former Persepolis fullback Ramin Rezaeian joined Persian Gulf Pro League rival Sepahan on a two-year contract.

Rezaeian, 32, will replace Danial Esmaeilifar on the right side of the back four, after ex-Sepahan player – along with Soroush Rafiei and Giorgi Gvelesiani – moved in the opposite direction to sign for the Tehran-based Reds earlier in the transfer window.

A member of the Iranian national team at the 2018 World Cup and the following AFC Asian Cup, Rezaeian rejoined Persepolis – after four years in Belgium and Qatar – on a six-month deal midway through last season but was not offered a contract extension by the Reds.

Having 44 international appearances under his belt, Rezaeian is the sixth summer signing for Sepahan, following Mohammad Daneshgar, Mohammad Alinejad, Milad Zakipour, Alireza Sadeqi, and Nima Mirzad.

Sepahan will see a new head coach on the bench for the start of the new season in Portuguese José Morais – a former assistant to José Mourinho in Chelsea, Inter, and Real Madrid, and two-time K League 1 champion with Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.

Club legend Moharam Navidkia stepped down from his role as the manager in June after two years in charge, leading Sepahan to runner-up and third-spot finishes in the Iranian top flight.

The four-time champion will be looking for a first league title since 2015 in the new season.


Foolad future


Months of speculation surrounding the future of Voria Ghafouri came to an end as the former Esteghlal skipper was unveiled at a Foolad Khuzestan training session in Tehran on Friday.

The ex-international fullback is yet to sign for the southern Iranian club but it will only be a matter of time before the 34-year-old is officially announced as a new Foolad player.

A fans’ favorite, whose contract at Esteghlal ran out at the end of the season, bagged 26 goals and contributed the same number of assists in 184 appearances in the Blues’ outfit in six seasons.

In his last season, he fell down the pecking order under former manager Farhad Majidi as he was a second choice to Saleh Hardani in the right-back position but was still fortunate to leave the Esteghlal on a high note, lifting a first league trophy for the club in nine years.

A busy transfer window has seen Foolad seal the services of Persepolis duo Ehsan Pahlevan and Saeed Aqaei as well as striker Ali Qorbani, Farshid Esmaeili, Majid Aliyari, Mohammadreza Ghobeishavi, and Austrian keeper Christopher Knett.

Under Javad Nekounam, Foolad finished fifth in the league last season and will take on Saudi club Al Faisaly at the AFC Champions League last-16 round next February.


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