Zamalek done with summer signings: board member Mansour

Omar Zaazou , Saturday 3 Sep 2016

Zamalek board member Ahmed Mortada Mansour says that first-team manager Moemen Soliman is likely to remain as first-team coach, even if he failed to qualify for the Champions League final

Zamalek board member Ahmed Mortada Mansour (Photo: Ahram)

Zamalek board member Ahmed Mortada Mansour has asserted that Zamalek is finished with the summer transfer market, while backing manager Moemen Soliman to remain as first-team coach even if he failed to see the team qualify for the Champions League final.

In an interview on Al-Hayat TV channel, Mansour – the son of club chairman Mortada Mansour – talked about many issues, including Zamalek's business in the transfer market, their Champions League campaign, and the fate of manager Soliman.

"We are done with the transfer market, we will not bring in more players," Mansour maintained.

"Now we have 29 players on board, that leaves us with only a single slot for a newcomer to be registered into. That will be spared for the January transfer window.

"As a result, we will be not be pursuing the services of Ahmed Hamoudi."

Zamalek showed no reservation to splash out cash this summer, having recruited 13 signings to bolster a squad that failed to defend their league title, eventually losing to Ahly last season.

As for Hamoudi, who has been on a season-long loan with Zamalek, he has become a free agent after parent club Basel announced they had rescinded the ex-Smouha forward's contract with the club.

After Zamalek had been keen to sign Hamoudi from the Swiss champions on a permanent basis, the 26-year-old's ineligibility to play in Africa seems to have dissuaded the Egypt Cup holders from pursuing him.

Talking about manager Soliman, who took charge of the first-team following the resignation of Mohamed Helmi, Mansour revealed the former's high chances of retaining his post after managing to win the trust of players and fans.

"Moemen Soliman is likely to continue in his post as first-team manager; he is not taking charge of the team on an interim basis anymore," he added.

"Yes, we initially intended to appoint Soliman as caretaker coach before the 4-0 Egypt Cup semi-final win over Ismaily, but he managed to win the board, fans, and the players' trust.  

"Even if we didn't manage to qualify for the Champions League final, I think Soliman would still continue as first-team coach."

Despite being appointed shortly before Zamalek's semi-final clash with Ismaily, Soliman managed to lead the club to a thumping 4-0 victory over their bitter rivals before going on to win the title after beating Ahly 3-1 in the final.

Having defeated Egyptian League winners and arch-rivals Ahly to retain the domestic cup, Soliman seems to have convinced the board of his worth to continue at the first-team's helm.

The cup triumph was also followed by another 1-0 Champions League home win over Nigeria's Enyimba, a victory that guaranteed Zamalek a place in the competition's semis for the first time since 2005.

Zamalek face Wydad Casablanca on 16 September for the semi-final first-leg, before visiting the Moroccans a week later.     

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