Egypt defender Ahmed Hegazi
The 32-year-old centre-back recently returned to training with Ittihad Jeddah after recovering from a cruciate ligament injury sustained on May 27, which caused him to miss the final stages of the Saudi Professional League last season.
Despite missing all of Al-Ittihad's matches this season while undergoing rehabilitation after successful surgery, Hegazi's impressive track record has not gone unnoticed by European suitors.
According to a report by British football network TEAMtalk, a host of UK clubs are closely monitoring Hegazi's situation at Al-Ittihad and could make a move for him during the January transfer window.
The report suggests Premier League sides Burnley, Sheffield United, Championship teams Middlesbrough and Cardiff, and Scottish powerhouses Rangers and Celtic as potential suitors for the Egyptian international.
The British football network added that Hegazi could be granted a free transfer from Al-Ittihad in the upcoming window due to the recent influx of foreign players in the Saudi club's squad.
While Hegazi's current contract with Al-Ittihad runs until 2026, he has been dropped from the club's domestic league squad and won't play until the end of the year. However, he remains eligible for AFC Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup matches.
Hegazi has been an integral player for Al-Ittihad since joining the Saudi Pro League side in October 2020, coming from then-Premier League club West Bromwich Albion as part of an initial one-year loan deal.
The deal became permanent in June 2021.
Last season, he played a pivotal role in helping the Jeddah-based club clinch their first league title since 2009.
His outstanding performance earned him recognition as one of the top 11 players in the Saudi League for the same season.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)