Egyptian striker Ahmed Ali claimed English second division side Hull City were in talks with him during last January’s transfer window over a possible move.
The robust frontman moved to Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal from Ismaily, on loan until the end of the season, saying he was keen to prolong his Gulf adventure.
“Yes, it is true that Hull City opened talks with me in January,” Ali said in an interview with Al-Ahram Al-Reyadi magazine when asked about the Tigers’ alleged interest in him.
“But I eventually preferred to play in Saudi Arabia because I know adapting to football with Arab teams is easier and quicker than European teams.
“There are also many stars who play for Al-Hilal, a club which has a high calibre, like any big club in the world.”
Fellow Egyptian striker Amr Zaki had a brief stint with Hull last year before returning to Cairo’s Zamalek in summer.
Ali made a slow start to his Al-Hilal spell but hit top gear afterwards with a string of impressive displays. He has scored five goals in all competitions so far, including one of the goals that gave the club the Saudi Crown Prince Cup title following a 5-1 drubbing of Al-Wehda earlier this month.
“I’m very comfortable here and I’m optimistic I can make further progress,” Ali, whose absence looked to have taken its toll on Ismaily’s attacking abilities in the Egyptian Premier League, added.
“I’m eager to remain with Al-Hilal. They are yet to open talks with me over turning my loan deal into a permanent one because the team is busy participating in the Saudi League and the Asian Champions League.
“Anyway, none of the club officials hinted that I do not feature in the club’s plans.”