Egypt rightback Ahmed Fathi has completed a move to Qatari side Umm Salal after rejecting a new contract with Cairo giants Ahly.
Ahly's most capped player signed a three-year contract with Qatari side Umm Salal for $3 million.
The 29-year-old, a solid and versatile defender, underwent a trial at Arsenal but the English Premier League club did not pursue their interest in him, prompting Ahly to offer him a contract extension.
But he declined to continue his highly successful stint with Ahly, opting to join Qatar Stars League club Umm Salal after accepting a reportedly lucrative offer.
Fathi was one of Ahly's key players after joining in 2007, with his versatility and defensive prowess helping Ahly to a host of titles.
His previous spells abroad were at English clubs Sheffield United and Hull City, and Kuwaiti side Kazma.
Fathi has released a statement to announce the move: "I didn't leave Ahly for money as I preferred to play with the team until the last day before traveling.
"The current unrest in Egyptian football, and playing the league in two groups without fans are the main reasons that forced me to leave Ahly," Fathi added.
Fathi said he would return to Ahly after completing his contract in Qatar.
"I hope to return to Ahly again to retire from football wearing the Red's jersey, but it depends on the team's management and technical staff.
"I release this statement to confirm my love for Ahly fans and I hope to be a good representative for them outside Egypt.
"I will join fans in supporting Ahly until I return to the squad if the management agrees," he concluded.
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