Zamalek coach Patrice Carteron has revealed his interest in signing Pyramids FC winger Ramadan Sobhi, confirming he is working with the club’s management to build up a brilliant squad that can win all trophies.
Reports in the Egyptian media claimed that Zamalek are close to signing former Ahly superstar Sobhi when the summer transfer window reopened, and the French coach confirmed the reports during an interview on a sports TV programme late on Sunday.
“Ramadan is an important and tough player, so we are interested in him alongside signing more talented players,” Carteron said during the interview.
The 50-year-old tactician, Carteron, led Zamalek to the top of the Egyptian Premier League table during his second stint with the team since his return last March and he promised to claim the domestic title after quitting from the African Champions League group stage.
“It’s difficult to predict the winner of the Egyptian Premier League this season as Ahly still have more postponed games, if the won them, they will be in the top with a two-point lead,” Carteron added.
“We developed our performance during the previous 6 games, but Ahly is a big team and they can win all the postponed games, so we have to wait and see before the final phase of the tournament,”
“I promise that we will do our best to win the Egyptian Premier League title,” the French coach said.
Carteron was surprisingly brought back by Zamalek’s interim board last March despite abruptly leaving them at a crucial stage last season in September 2020.
He replaced Portuguese Jaime Pacheco, under whom Zamalek topped the domestic league but was eliminated from the Champions League group stage.
Sassi’s departure effect
Zamalek are in the hot seat after fan favorite Tunisian midfielder Ferjani Sassi increased doubts about his fate with the club by leaving the team after he finished his deal with the team.
“I am depressed over Sassi’s departure as Zamalek fans also admire him,” Carteron said.
“I wanted Sassi to complete the season with the team, as it’s unfortunate to leave before the end of the league and not take part in the important final games,”
“I expect he will regret his departure during this time of the season,” the French coach added.
“We have to finish the season without Sassi, as we have no choice,”
The 29-year-old Sassi was out of contract with Zamalek in the end of June and he is yet to renew his contract with the club, with several reports suggesting a move to the Qatari league during the summer transfer window.
Sassi didn’t return to Zamalek since finishing his international duty with Tunisia last month, where he played against DR Congo in a friendly match before sustaining a muscle injury that rendered him unavailable for ten days.
The Tunisian international, who joined Zamalek in the summer of 2018, made a string of strong displays with the club, becoming one of the team’s biggest stars. The talented midfielder played 102 games with Zamalek, scoring 16 goals.
Goalkeeping position stability
Zamalek are quite competitive in the goalkeeping race with three in-form goalies, with coach Carteron confirming he will recall fourth goalkeeper Mohamed Sobhi, who is currently on loan with Ittihad of Alexandria.
“We are lucky to have three big goalkeepers in our squad and we will recall the fourth one, Mohamed Sobhi, as he is a brilliant player who can help us in the future,” the French coach said.
“We are working to build up a brilliant squad for the coming season to compete for all titles,”
“We don’t need to sign new defenders, as we have more talented players in this position and they are doing their best during the games,” Carteron added.
Zamalek are competing for the Egypt Cup title and they are in the driving seat of the Egyptian Premier League table with 61 points, 10 points over title holders Ahly who have 4 games on their hands.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)