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EXCLUSIVE: Blackpool FC offer Amr Zaki trial

Egyptian international has been offered a one week trial by Championship side Blackpool FC. We’ve got all the latest developments here at King Fut.

A letter from Blackpool FC – dated the 20th of July, 2012 and addressed to Amr Zaki – surfaced early Friday morning to create a buzz around the player again. A summary of the letter indicates Blackpool FC have offered Amr Zaki a one week invitation to train with the first team squad starting from Monday the 23rd of July. During this period, Blackpool FC will provide accommodation, transportation to and from the training in addition to airport transportation. The letter however does not indicate any notion of a concluded deal or even negotiation regarding a deal. It’s worth noting that Amr Zaki seems to have spoken to manager Ian Holloway and Chairman Karl Oyston prior to receiving the invitation.

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In response to the trial invitation from Blackpool FC and the notion that a fully fledged Egyptian international who plays his trade in Zamalek FC – one of Africa’s top clubs – and with premiership experience from his days at Wigan Athletic, to be offered a trial instead of a direct contract, Hadi El Sharkawi – the CEO of EMA, a UK based sports marketing agency – denied the invitation is for trial purposes.

“First of all, I’d like to confirm that my company has an official mandate from Amr Zaki to negotiate in his name in the UK starting from the 23rd of July to the 2nd of August.”  Hadi El Sharkawi stated, speaking to

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“Blackpool’s offer to Zaki is not a trial of course. The Egyptian striker is bigger than being offered a trial in Europe, let alone England.”

“EMA as an intermediary agency, have received an offer from Blackpool FC for Amr Zaki to come negotiate directly with the club, exploring the chances of signing him in the upcoming period.” Sharkawi added.

Rules and regulations state that a player cannot negotiate with another club if there’s still over 6 months left in his contract with a current club. This is the case with Zamalek and Amr Zaki this very moment.

“Zaki promised me he’ll talk to Zamalek officials for travelling first to negotiate with Blackpool, and in cased personal terms are agreed, Blackpool will start official negotiations with Zamalek directly.”

“Even if Zaki is to train with the Blackpool squad, this won’t happen unless Zaki gets the official approval from Zamalek, as per rules and regulations.” El Sharkawi added.

Nader Shawky, Amr Zaki’s agent, raised the issue of the player not obtaining a work permit as he hasn’t participated in 75% of Egypt’s international games. This was countered by Hadi El Sharkawi, stating that it’s possible to issue an appeal to the English FA to pass on a work permit.

Zaki has been ruled out in the ever important Cairo derby between Al Ahly and Zamalek on Sunday, the 22nd of July in the CAF Champions League, after failing to pass a late fitness test. It is worth noting that Zaki only has 6 months left on his contract. The situation will likely become clearer in the coming couple of days, King Fut will be providing you with the latest developments on this story.

Follow Mohamed Seif on Twitter.

Co-founder of and a Cairo-based journalist with over 5 years of experience in sports journalism. Working previously in international, a Sports Editor of READ Newspaper, doing TV punditry and freelancing in various blogs and publications. He’ll be bringing all this experience to King Fut.

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