Ittihad Jeddah welcome new signing Ahmed Hegazi (Photo: the club's official Twitter account)
Egypt defender Ahmed Hegazi has joined Ittihad Jeddah on a season-long loan deal from Premier League side West Bromwich, the Saudi club announced on Sunday.
Ittihad announced the news on their Twitter account, posting two promotional videos to welcome their star signing.
The 29-year old towering defender, who still has two years left on his contract at the Baggies, joined Ittihad for a reported fee of £4 million, with an option to buy.
Hegazi's transfer marks a surprising turn as it comes just a few days after West Brom coach Slaven Bilic said the player "is staying" despite interests from Saudi clubs.
“Like last year, he wants to stay here. He’s a good player, he’s playing and I’m glad he’s staying. I didn’t want him to go last year. This season I like him, he’s a top professional," Bilic told a news conference on Thursday.
According to local reports and after receiving Ittihad's lucrative offer, Hegazi was pushed towards the exit door after being told that he would not have regular football at the club.
Hegazi played his first game of the season last Monday after recovering from a minor injury, a 0-0 draw against Burnley as the team kept their first clean sheet of the season.
The former Fiorentina, Perugia and Ahly defender joined West Brom in 2017. Since then, he has played 104 matches, netting four goals and providing two assists.
Hegazi played a vital role in helping West Brom earn a promotion to the top flight last season.
Ittihad finished 10th in the Saudi league last season. The new term started two weeks ago.
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