Updated: El-Hadary denies Masry contact

Hatem Maher, Friday 2 Dec 2011

Egypt’s veteran keeper tells Ahram Online he is only focused on ending his dispute with Sudanese club El-Merreikh

Essam El-Hadary

Egypt goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary told Ahram Online on Friday he would not discuss any new moves until he ends his dispute with Sudanese club El-Merreikh.

The veteran guardian is at loggerheads with Merreikh, who vowed to pursue their legal action against him after he went AWOL last month.

El-Hadary, who was suspended by the Sudan Football Association for an indefinite period, said Merreikh have failed to fulfil their financial obligations towards him, an accusation the club denies.

Port Said-based club Masry, who are bankrolled by movie producer Kamel Abou Ali, are trying to mediate between El-Hadary and Merreikh to resolve the problem and sign the 38-year-old when the transfer window re-opens in January.

“I will not speak with any club until I end that matter (the Merreikh problem),” El-Hadary said in a phone interview with Ahram Online.

“The reports which said I asked for three and four million (Egyptian pounds) to join a new club are false.

“I’m only focused on ending my problem with El-Merreikh before anything else,” he added.

Masry are reportedly aiming to land a replacement for Ahmed El-Shennawy, Egypt’s highly-rated and promising goalkeeper, who is linked with a move to Europe after producing some impressive displays this season.

El-Shennawy made his debut with Egypt’s senior team in their 2-0 friendly defeat by five-time world champions Brazil earlier this month.

El-Hadary has endured numerous problems with several clubs, including Egyptian duo Zamalek and Ismaily, since acrimoniously leaving Cairo giants Ahly in February 2008.

Reports suggested that Egypt coach Bob Bradley is likely to demote El-Hadary to the bench and rely on El-Shennawy as the team’s regular custodian.

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