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Saleh Gomaa does major U-turn on Germany’s Greuther Fürth
ENPPI’s 19-year-old Egyptian midfielder Gomaa, who on Thursday left Egypt’s training camp in Spain for the U-20 World Cup to sign for Fürth in Germany on a one-year loan, suddenly turned down the move after completing his medical with the club, according to Bild.
“He even asked us to think it over until after the U-20 World Cup. I do not know what possessed him suddenly there,” Greuther Fürth manager Rouven Schröder said on Friday.
“For us, it was very, very surprising.
“We have to be realistic and admit that is very difficult for us to sign him,” he added.
Gomaa’s decision indeed comes as a complete surprise, especially since he told FilGoal this week: “I am not in a hurry to play for a big club. I don’t want to repeat unsuccessful experiences of many Egyptian players in the past.”
While Fürth manager Schroder was excited to have Gomaa joining the relegated side in Germany’s second division next season on loan with the option to buy, telling German media on Wednesday: “Saleh is known to us. He is an exciting player.”
“From his playing style, he reminds us of [Borussia Dortmund midfielder] Ilkay Gündogan. He will join on loan with a view to a permanent move at the end of the season.”
Gomaa has been on two consecutive one-week trials in Europe last month with Anderlecht and Borussia Dortmund, and has become a regular member of Egypt’s national team under American coach Bob Bradley.
Earlier this week, Egypt U-20 assistant coach Mohamed Saad told Al-Hayat TV that Gomaa was set to join Dortmund on a one-year loan deal; however, ENPPI later denied coach Saad’s claim, stressing that the only offers they’ve received came from Freiburg and Fürth.
ENPPI value Gomaa at €2 million, but chairman Mohamed Badr admitted he would not stand in the way of a move abroad for the young Egypt international, who has only featured once this season in the Egyptian Premier League, playing no more than 11 minutes as a substitute.
Gomaa won the MVP at the 2013 African Youth Championship in March, helping the Egypt U-20 national team to win their first continental title since 2003.
The central midfielder will likely be the heart of Egypt’s midfield when they join Chile, England and Iraq in Group E of the U-20 World Cup, which runs from 21 June to 13 July in Turkey.