Ibrahim Salah has become the latest player to flee Zamalek’s financial woes after joining newly-promoted Saudi league side Al Orouba on a free transfer.
The influential defensive midfielder, one of Zamalek’s most consistent performers, turned down a late offer from the cash-strapped club to extend his deal.
Citing Zamalek’s reluctance to offer him a new contract, Egyptian international Ibrahim said he had no option but to depart.
The White Knights are now running out of options in midfield, with Cameroonian Alexis Mendomo going AWOL after growing increasingly frustrated with the club’s inability to fulfill their financial obligations towards him.
Brazilian coach Jorvan Vieira, who was credited with turning around the fortunes of the ailing Cairo giants, has also refused to sign a new contract despite steering the team to a place in the final round of the Egyptian Premier League, which has been suspended since the mass protests that overthrew President Mohamed Morsi erupted on 30 June.
Other players could follow suit, including veteran midfielder Ahmed Hassan whose deal also expires at the end of this season.
Zamalek, Africa’s second most successful club, have often struggled to take advantage of their popularity to generate revenue. They usually rely on wealthy individuals running the club but even incumbent chairman Mamdouh Abbas, a life-long Zamalek fan, has declined to spend big to bolster the team’s squad recently.
The five-time African champions are preparing for a crunch tie against arch-rivals Ahly in their opening Champions League group-stage clash on Sunday. They are now led by Helmi Tolan, an ex-Zamalek player.
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