Egyptian veteran goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary is close to joining Saudi Arabia’s Al Taawoun on a one-year loan deal, Saudi paper Al Sharq Al Awsat reported on Sunday.
The 44-year-old’s contract with Egyptian Premier League club Wadi Degla expires at the end of the season and Al Sharq Al Awsat said he has already finalized an agreement to join Al Taawoun.
Should the club complete a deal for one of the most decorated goalkeepers in the history of Africa, he will become the first foreign shot-stopper to play in Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi Football Federation had recently lifted a long-standing ban on signing foreign goalkeepers, the paper added.
El-Hadary made his name with Africa’s most successful club Ahly, where he enjoyed a glittering 12-year spell, and had stints with several other Egyptian clubs including Zamalek, Ismaily and Wadi Degla.
His previous foreign adventures were with Swiss side Sion in 2008-09 and Sudan’s Al-Merreikh from 2011 to 2013.
El-Hadary remains part of Egypt’s squad, having displayed some age-defying displays at the African Cup of Nations earlier this year to help the Pharaohs reach the final.
He set a goalkeeping record for the longest run without conceding a goal in the tournament after completing 675 minutes unbeaten. The run ended when he shipped a goal in Egypt's semi-final tie against Burkina Faso in February.
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