Newcastle, Wigan, West Bromwich, Wolves, Sunderland, Swansea, Hull and Leicester have all stepped up their interest in signing Egyptian veteran keeper Essam El-Hadary, according to English newspaper, the Daily Mail.
Premier League and Championship clubs sent their scouts to watch Egypt’s game against South Africa in the African Cup of Nations qualifier last Sunday to eye rising talents from both nations.
But it was the 38-year old’s breathtaking display that caught their attention. The Pharaohs’ number 1 made several heroic saves throughout the game, twice denying South Africa on one-on-one situations as well as blocking several close-range efforts.
The report has praised El-Hadary’s quality and physical condition and suggested that “While he may not immediately spring to mind as a first choice for Premier League sides, he could comfortably provide back-up and would not be out of place as a No 1 playing in the Championship.”
“There have been some tentative enquiries but it is fair to say several Premier and Championship clubs are showing interest. He's a great guy and a very good goalkeeper. You don't play that many times for your country without having quality,” his representative Bryan Yeubrey was quoted as saying in the English newspaper.
The former Ahly, Zamalek, Ismaily and Sion keeper is now under contract with Merreikh and would be ready to make his dream move to England for around £250000, according to the Daily Mail.
El-Hadary, an iconic figure in Egyptian football, has 125 caps, winning four African Cup of Nations titles in 1998, 2006, 2008 and 2010 and claiming African Keeper of the Year three times.