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Alaa Abdel-Sadek: Fathi to travel to England for Arsenal trial
Al Ahly’s Ahmed Fathi, a finalist for the 2013 CAF Player of the Year (Based in Africa) award, after winning the Champions League with the Red Devils for the second time consecutively last year, is set to undergo a 10-day trial with Arsenal.
The 29-year-old right-back, known as a ‘joker’ in Egypt for his versatility as he can fill in anywhere across the back-line or as a defensive midfielder, won’t depart for England until after Al Ahly’s final league game of the season – a title-deciding clash against Smouha on Monday – the club’s football department director Alaa Abdel-Sadek revealed in televised remarks.
- READ – Player Profile: Ahmed Fathi
“Fathi is staying with us till the last game of the league and we will not let him travel to England before the match against Smouha,” Abdel-Sadek stressed.
“Fathi did not ask to start his trial period at Arsenal before the matches against Zamalek or Petrojet.
“We have not yet guaranteed winning the league title so that we can allow Fathi to travel to England. We have a decisive match against Smouha which will decide who wins the league,” the club’s director concluded.
The veteran defender’s contract is set to expire this summer, and he has already been heavily linked to Saudi Arabian side Ittihad Jeddah, and previously to Nottingham Forest.
KingFut.com understands Arsenal sent scouts to watch the Egyptian in action with the national team in Santiago, where the Pharaohs fell 3-2 against an Alexis Sanchez-inspired Chile – a player now heavily linked with a move to the Emirates.
This would be Fathi’s second trial with the Gunners, as he was previously tested as a 20-year-old by Wenger in 2004, and participated in a 2-1 friendly win against Grazer AK, before joining Sheffield United.
The Egypt international has gone one to be named CAF’s right-back of the year in 2010 and 2012, and played a crucial role in the national team’s historic three consecutive Africa Cup of Nations triumphs in 2006, 2008 and 2010.
Fathi, who has been capped over 100 times by his country, had a frustrating spell at Hull City in the Championship during the 2012/2013, as he was only given one start in seven appearances for the Tigers.