Sunday,24 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1350, (22 June - 5 July 2017)
Sunday,24 February, 2019
Issue 1350, (22 June - 5 July 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Early shopping

Ahly and Zamalek are already planning for next season, reports Marawan Zayed

This season might not be over but Egypt’s top guns are already planning for life next season with both Ahly and Zamalek taking steps towards signing their top targets.

This season proved to be an easy ride for the defending league champions Ahly as they sealed the title several weeks before the closure of the season in addition to being 19 points clear of fierce rivals Zamalek with three weeks to go. The massive point difference showed the huge gap between the two clubs this season and prompted Zamalek’s president Mortada Mansour to promise a “revolution” this coming summer to compete once again.

As for Ahly, they have not been fooled by their great season and coach Hossam Al-Badri is well aware that his club needs reinforcements to stay on top and compete in Africa. The rumour mill is running overtime for both clubs and here are some of them.

First, Semouha’s left back and former Ahly player Ayman Ashraf is set to join his former club after agreeing to a four-year deal starting next season. The young fullback was one of the best players in the league this season and was even given the captain’s armband earlier in the season. Al-Badri personally asked the board to sign their former player in case Tunisian star Ali Maaloul leaves the club in the summer as is rumoured. The Tunisian fullback is wanted by several clubs in Europe according to his agent and was set to leave the club after being frozen out by Al-Badri before being recently restored to the starting lineup. However, Ashraf will probably be the club’s first signing whether Maaloul stays or leaves.


Second, Zamalek’s centre back Dwidar is set to join the champions after his contract with the White Knights comes to an end next month. The player joined Semouha for the second half of the season and will now sign for Ahly as a free agent for the next four years.

Still with Ahly, the club sealed the signing of Wadi Degla’s defender Mahmoud Alaa for the next five years as the champions paid Mido’s team a fee of between LE5 million and LE6 million. Moroccan star Walid Azarou will replace the outgoing Colibaly after the striker confirmed he received an interesting offer from the Egyptian giants which was accepted by his club and which is appealing to the player himself who opted to join Ahly despite receiving European offers. The 21-year-old striker scored 12 league goals last season and is already a full international which makes the imminent signing very interesting for Ahly fans.

Back to Zamalek, the White Knights look set to clinch the signing of the very impressive Enppi striker Amr Marei according to Mansour who said he reached a deal with the petroleum club to sign this goal machine starting next season. The details of the deal are unclear but it’s certainly a good piece of business by Mansour given that the player was one of the surprise packages of the season. In addition to Marei, the club is trying to seal a deal to sign two Masri players in the form of Ahmed Gomaa and Kaboria as part of the summer revolution with both players interested in joining the club, according to Mansour. Gomaa is certainly one of the most promising players in the league this season and managed to score 10 goals in addition to seven assists while Kaboria who’s skillful and entertaining scored five and set up another eight. Both players were the standouts for their teams and the league in general. Mansour is still trying to negotiate a deal with Wadi Degla to sign star striker Stanley after a highly successful loan period during which he scored game after game, pushing Zamalek to ask for a massive LE12 million which was rejected outright by Mansour who’s trying to sign the player for far less.

The coming period should be very interesting for both Ahly and Zamalek as they plan to conquer each other both locally and in Africa.

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