Zamalek's want-away striker Mostafa Mohamed skips training as Saint Etienne step up interest

Aram Online, Saturday 26 Dec 2020

Zamalek make attempts to convince Mostafa Mohamed to stay put until the end of the season amid strong interest from Saint Etienne

Zamalek's striker Mostafa Mohamed (Al-Ahram)

Zamalek’s want-away striker Mostafa Mohamed skipped Friday’s training session without permission as he seeks to pressure the club into accepting an offer to sign him from French side Saint Etienne, local media reported on Saturday.

Mohamed has established himself as one of Zamalek's key players after a series of fine displays last season. He also started the new term in superb fashion, scoring twice in the opening two Egyptian Premier League games.

Zamalek said on Saturday that Saint Etienne had tabled a 3.5 million euro offer to sign Mohamed when the transfer window opens in January. However, club officials said the offer is well below their valuation of the player.

They also said they would prefer to wait until the end of the season and after the summer Olympic Games, after which they believe the 23-year-old could get a better offer.

"Mostafa missed recent training sessions because of a back injury. He has all the right to dream to become like our stars Mohamed Salah or Trezeguet but we only disagree with him over the timing and the financial offer," said Ayman Younes, the chief executive of Zamalek's football committee.

"I had a meeting with the player and his agent and I told him our point of view. Mostafa's departure will be by the start of the new season with a better price. He is a loyal player to Zamalek."

However, Egyptian sports website reported that Saint Etienne had raised their bid to 4 million euros, which could be tempting for Zamalek, given their ongoing financial troubles following the sacking of their previous board of directors last month.

Mohamed, 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.

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