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Gabon striker Evouna agrees to join Egypt's Ahly

Hatem Maher , Tuesday 30 Jun 2015
Gabon's Malick Evouna is challenged by Congo's Dimitri Bissiki (L) during their 2015 African Cup of Nations Group A soccer match in Bata January 21, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)
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Wydad Casablanca striker Malick Evouna said on Tuesday he had agreed to join Egypt's Ahly after being the centre of a transfer battle involving the Red Devils and Cairo rivals Zamalek.

Zamalek said earlier this month that they had pulled out of the race to sign Evouan after failing to match the financial demands of his agents, although they reportedly reached an agreement with Morocco's Wydad.

Ahly also seemed reluctant to pay a hefty transfer fee but Haitham Orabi, an active club official who is tasked with making their new signings as they seek to strengthen their squad following a disappointing season, was determined to strike a deal for the highly-rated 22-year-old.

"I have already chosen Ahly as my next destination. I informed the club's president Said Naciri and coach John Toshack of my desire to leave and join 'the club of the century'," Evouna said in an interview with Moroccan sports newspaper Hespress.

"I did not choose Ahly by chance. I'm fully aware of the club's caliber and reputation in Africa … and I want to help them add to their many titles. My family has also supported me in that decision."

Evouna, who made his international debut in 2012, scored six goals in 11 appearances with Gabon.  

He joined Wydad from Gabon's CF Mounana in the summer of 2013 and finished as the Moroccan league's top scorer last season with 16 goals in 26 matches.

Should Evouna completes his move to Ahly, who have yet to officially announce that they had acquired his services, he will be the second foreign striker to join the club after Ghanaian John Antwi.

Local reports said the deal will exceed $2 million, a big sum by the standards of Egyptian football. 

"Zamalek are not the only side that I had turned down. There were some offers from other Arab and European teams but I was convinced that Ahly's offer was the best, given their pedigree. I'm not undervaluing the other sides including Zamalek, whom I have great respect for because they are one of the greatest clubs in Africa," Evouna added.

Ahly said they plan a squad overhaul in the summer as they look highly unlikely to overtake runaway leaders Zamalek with five matches remaining before the end of the season, missing out on the prospect of equaling their own record of winning the league nine times in a row.

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