Zamalek president Mortada Mansour said on Saturday that Ahly's playmaker Abdallah El-Said had signed a contract with his club before the recent renewal with the Reds, with Mansour insisting on the $100 million release clause.
"El-Said has already signed four copies of a contract with Zamalek. Board member Ismail Youssef and Ahmed and Amir [Mansour's sons] were the heroes of this deal and they managed to snatch him from Ahly," Mansour said in a press conference at Zamalek's headquarters, where he showed photos of the player after penning the contract.
"I wonder why I am criticised for the El-Said deal. I won't let go of the $100 million release clause by any means," he added.
After protracted negotiations, the veteran playmaker was reportedly close to making a shocking move to cross-town rivals Zamalek, but the Egyptian champions Ahly managed to tie him to a new deal on Tuesday.
The renewal for El-Said came just one day after Ahly management renewed the contract of star winger Ahmed Fathy, who was also heavily linked with a move out of the Red castle.
Mortada was initially supposed to reveal the details of what he called “the deal of the century” during Saturday's press conference, but Ahly's success in renewing the contracts of El-Said and Fathy crushed his hopes.
"Fathy was part of the deal of the century. We agreed on all the details with Fathy, but Ahly offered him EGP 20 million for the renewal and he accepted," Mansour explained.
"El-Said was forced to sign with Ahly amid the presence of eight body guards, while he signed with Zamalek of his own will with our heroes [the negotiators]," he concluded.
Just hours after the renewal for El-Said, Ahly suddenly announced it was putting the player on the transfer market in just less than half-a-day.
Some reports claimed that the selling decision was a disciplinary action by Ahly after learning of his signing with Zamalek.
The 32-year-old El-Said played an instrumental role in helping Ahly win the Egyptian Premier League with six matches to spare on Monday, securing the title for a third consecutive time and the 40th overall.
El-Said joined the Red Devils from bitter foes Ismaily in 2011, but used to live in the shadow of iconic playmaker Mohamed Abou-Treika. However, he assumed the playmaking role following Abou-Treika's retirement in late 2013.
El-Said has won four Egyptian league titles, two African Champions Leagues, a Confederation Cup and an Egyptian Cup among other minor accolades since his arrival.
El-Said scored 67 goals and created 54 others in 227 appearances with Ahly in all competitions.
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