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Saint-Étienne, Swansea target Ali Ghazal gets Egypt call-up
CD Nacional defensive midfielder Ali Ghazal reveals interest from Saint-Étienne and Swansea City, and also gets his first senior national team call-up ahead of Egypt’s World Cup qualifiers next month.
21-year-old Ghazal, who penned a four-and-a-half-year deal with Nacional de Madeira in January, confirmed to KingFut.com through ex-teammate Sherif Fayed interest from English Premier League side Swansea City and Saint-Étienne, who finished fourth in Ligue 1 this season.
The former Wadi Degla defensive midfielder, who can also play as a centre-back, revealed Saint-Étienne sent scouts to watch him and were impressed with his performances in Madeira.
Neither of the suitors have yet to send an official offer, while Nacional value the Egyptian at one million euros, despite signing from Wadi Degla for €40,000.
Ali may have to wait for a potential move to the Premier League, his dream destination, as a work permit would likely be rejected since this is only his first season in Europe and the Aswan-born midfielder has only featured for the Egypt U-20 national team so far.
However, Egypt assistant coach Diaa El-Sayed revealed Ali Ghazal has been called-up to the Egyptian national team for the first time ahead of next month’s World Cup qualifiers against Zimbabwe and Mozambique, after impressing in the majority of the second-half of the season in Portugal helping Nacional finish in eighth with 40 points in the Liga Sagres.
Ghazal could be a potential replacement for Hosni Abd-Rabo, who’s will be out for several months after tearing the cruciate ligament in his right knee in a league match with Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nasr, while Hossam Ghaly has only just returned to training with Al-Ahly.
Bob Bradley has also recalled Ayman Hefny to the Pharaohs’ squad, following the talented attacking midfielder’s impressive performances with El-Gaish this season. The complete squad for the upcoming camp is expected to be announced on Monday.
The Pharaohs are currently five points clear off their nearest rivals in their World Cup qualifying group with 9 points, after maintaining their perfect run in Group G against Zimbabwe in March. If Egypt finish on top, they then would qualify for the final two-legged round against one of the other nine group leaders for a place at next year’s World Cup in Brazil.