Egypt winger Mahmoud Shikabala has been left out of Sporting’s squad for the UEFA Champions League, fuelling speculation over his future amid reports linking him with a move back to his former club Zamalek.
The 28-year-old, who is constantly criticized for failing to live up to his potential, has only made one competitive appearance with Sporting’s senior side since joining from Cairo’s Zamalek last January.
He struggled for fitness in the second half of last season and failed to break into Sporting’s squad this term. He reportedly fell out with the club after returning late to Portugal following Sporting’s friendly game with Egyptian side Ittihad in Alexandria last month.
He was initially banned from going back to Lisbon after failing to obtain permission from the Egyptian army on time but resolved the problem a few days later.
Zamalek chairman Mortada Mansour said recently he was not interested in luring Shikabala back to Cairo, with the club signing more than a dozen of new players to mount a serious Egyptian Premier League challenge, having failed to win the title since 2004.
Shikabala is part of Egypt’s squad for Friday’s clash against Senegal in their opening clash of the 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifiers.
His fellow countryman Rami Rabia, who joined Sporting from Zamalek's bitter rivals Ahly in the summer, was named in Sporting's Champions League roster.
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