Reading goalkeeper Ali Al-habsi has swapped the Madejski stadium for Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal, according to Sky Sports.

The former Bolton and Wigan shot-stopper missed out on promotion to the Barclays Premier League after being defeated 4-3 on penalties in the Sky Bet Championship play-off final.

35-year-old Al-Habsi had spent four years at Bolton Wanderers prior to joining Wigan in 2011 after a season-long loan spell. Al-Habsi was a part of the Latics team that won the 2013 FA Cup, beating Manchester City 1-0 in the final thanks to Ben Watson’s header.

The 35-year-old has made 91 appearances for Reading since signing in July 2015 for the Royals but, after signing a new contract in January, Al-Hilal met a release clause in order to sign their target.

The Oman international said on Twitter: “It was surely a tough decision to take. I have spent a great two years at Reading. It felt like home with friends, family and teammates. No one can imagine the support and love that I received from the fans and club.”

“It was a one of a kind experience.” said the former Brighton loanee.

“I am sure Reading will do great next season, especially with a perfect manager like Jaap Stam, you will push forward and will have excellent results.”

Ali Al-Habsi made 51 appearances in all competitions last season as the Royals missed out on promotion to the top-flight of English football following a dramatic 4-3 loss on penalties to Huddersfield Town, having completed 120 minutes with neither side unable to score, at Wembley Stadium.


About Author

Just another long-time suffering Ipswich Town supporter and secondary school student.