Zamalek ended their pursuit of Wydad Casablanca's Gabonese striker Malick Evouna after failing to match the financial demands of the player's agents, the Cairo club's chairman said on Sunday.
Zamalek and rivals Ahly made no secret of their desire to land the robust 22-year-old, who is one of several targets sought by the Cairo giants in their bid to bolster their squads in the summer.
Mortada Mansour, the outspoken chairman of Zamalek, said the club had agreed to pay $1.8 million for Morocco's Wydad to sign Evouna but that it was very difficult to accept the demands set by his agent.
"There are three agents representing Evouna. They asked for a commission of $500,000 and this was too much," Mansour told an Egyptian radio station.
"Neither I nor [Ahly chairman] Mahmoud Taher can pay that amount. If we do so, we will immediately go to jail!" he added.
Zamalek boast arguably the best Egyptian striker in Bassem Morsi, whose fine run earned him a call-up to the Egypt's squad.
Morsi, who has scored 13 league goals so far this season, opened his Egypt account in their 3-0 victory over Tanzania in their opening African Cup of Nations qualifier last week.
Mansour signed more than a dozen players last summer to strengthen an underachieving squad.
His heavy spending looked to have paid off as Zamalek are within touching distance of wrapping up their first league title since 2004. They top the table with 74 points from 31 games and need just 10 points from their remaining seven matches to secure the title.
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