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Saturday, 19 January 2019

Ahly keen to see their star El-Said ply his trade elsewhere before World Cup

Eslam Omar , Thursday 5 Apr 2018
Abdallah El-Said
File Photo: Abdallah Said (Photo: Reuters)
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Views: 2415

Ahly are searching for any possible immediate deal for midfielder Abdallah El-Said so that he can play ahead of the anticipated 2018 World Cup in Russia, which starts next June.

"We want to protect the player's future for the sake of the national team. We are searching for a playing opportunity for the player before the World Cup," Ahly contracting manager Adly El-Kiey told on Wednesday.

The Ahly board decided not to let their longtime star play after he had surprisingly signed for their arch-rivals Zamalek.

The international ace put his signature to a contract with Zamalek days before extending his stay at the Red Castle.

"We initiated this idea [to find him a chance to play] and approved it. We want him play during the next two months for the sake of the national team," El-Kiey insisted.

The 32-year-old Ismailia-born player has been reportedly linked to a move to Saudi Arabia after he and famous Saudi sports official Turki Al-Sheikh published a photo of the two on social media.

Abdallah El-Said

"Welcome to your second home," Turki Al-Shiekh wrote as a caption to the photo. The location is unclear, but a scanned photo of a Saudi visa on the player's passport has been circulating the internet.

Ahly coach Hossam El-Badry exlcuded his favorite choice El-Said from last game's squad against Tanta in the Egyptian League Monday, explaining that "the board's decision is final for the player."

El-Said has played a fine season for the club where he has starred since moving from Ismaily in 2011, scoring 15 goals and assisting in six of 39 appearances.

He is one of the key players for the Egyptian national team, and boosted the Pharaohs' bid to qualify for their first World Cup since 1990.

Argentinean manager Hector Cuper and the team's fans are expecting a lot from him in Russia.

Egyptian Football Association chairman Hani Abou-Rida made it clear on Wednesday that Ahly hold the rights to El-Said's services and suggested Zamalek would only receive compensation if they file a formal complaint with FIFA. 

Adly El-Kiey refused to reveal any future plans of the board regarding El-Said after the World Cup.

Following a training camp in May, Egypt are kicking-off the World Cup group stage with a tough opener against Uruguay on 15 June, four days before playing hosts Russia and then ending the stage on 25 June against Saudi Arabia.

Ahly have secured their third successive Egyptian Premier League title and their 40th ever, leading the table with 78 points, 19 more than their closest chasers Ismaily.

They will continue their African Champions League bid against Esperance on 4 May following their easy win against Gabon's CF Mounana.

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