Egyptian Premier League’s ambitious side Maqassa announced on Saturday that they halted talks to sign Egypt and El-Merreikh goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary after a meeting with the team’s coach Tarek Yehia.
Maqassa, who finished sixth in their maiden Premier League appearance last season, were close to signing El-Hadary after Sudanese giants El-Merreikh’s president Gamal El-Waly gave them the green light to open talks with the veteran shot-stopper.
However, they suddenly decided to pull the plug on negotiations. An informed source told Ahram Online that Maqassa changed their mind upon the advice of Ahly’s vice-president Mahmoud El-Khatib.
El-Khatib is believed to have told Maqassa officials that El-Hadary would not benefit them, given the many problems he had with several clubs, including Egyptian champions Ahly whom he left in an acrimonious manner in February 2008 to join Swiss Side Sion.
He was eventually banned for four months and handed a hefty fine for violating his Ahly contract to move to Europe.
El-Hadary, who is widely regarded as the best keeper in Egypt’s history, also endured problem-plagued spells with fellow Egyptian outfits Ismaily and Zamalek.
The 38-year-old, who joined El-Merreikh last January, said recently that he would leave the club, claiming that several Egyptian and European clubs are interested in acquiring his services.