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Sunday, 28 February 2021

Zamalek hit back at St Etienne president, end talks over Mohamed transfer

Saint Etienne had tabled a $5 million offer to sign Mostafa Mohamed but talks with Zamalek broke down after the Cairo club rejected the Ligue 1 side's proposal to pay the fee on two instalments

Hatem Maher , Saturday 16 Jan 2021
Mostafa Mohamed
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Zamalek hit back at Saint Etienne co-president Roland Romeyer after he accused officials who he did not name of asking for kickbacks to help facilitate the transfer of striker Mostafa Mohamed to the French club, saying they would no longer do business with Saint Etienne. 

Saint Etienne had tabled a $5 million offer to sign the Egyptian international but talks with Zamalek broke down after the Cairo club rejected the Ligue 1 side's proposal to pay the fee on two instalments.

In a video call with Al-Nahar television channel, Romeyer said his club were ready to pay $3 million immediately and 2 million early next year. He also insisted Saint Etienne would take their offer off the table within 48 hours if Zamalek continue to stall on the talks.

However, it was his accusation that infuriated Zamalek's officials. Romeyer said he would name the officials he accused of demanding kickbacks if the deal fell through.

"I call on the Saint Etienne president to reveal the names of the officials he talked about," Hesham Ibrahim, the vice president of an interim three-man committee that runs Zamalek, told Al-Nahar.

"Saint Etienne should provide proof for any of the accusations they are hurling, and we reject their offer for Mostafa Mohamed."  

Zamalek later confirmed in a statement on Friday that they had ended talks with Saint Etienne over Mohamed's move "out of respect to the club's fans who would never accept such accusations."

The White Knights also said Mohamed returned to the team's training on Friday, along with Tunisian midfielder Ferjani Sassi who is still in talks with the club to extend his contract, which runs out at the end of the season.

The 23-year-old, who has also become Egypt's first-choice striker, helped Zamalek win the African and Egyptian Super Cups last season. He finished as the 2019 U-23 Africa Cup of Nations top scorer with four goals as the Pharaohs were crowned champions.

He returned to Zamalek in the summer of 2019 after ending a loan spell with Talae El-Geish. He scored 19 goals and provided four assists in 51 appearances last season.

Mohamed also started the new term in a superb fashion, scoring twice in the opening two Egyptian Premier League games before falling out with Zamalek's board over Saint Etienne's bid.

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