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AEK, Lierse agreement for Karim Hafez’s transfer collapses

Photo: Kristof Van Accom

Photo: Kristof Van Accom

Despite recently traveling to Greece and passing his medical with AEK Athens, Karim Hafez’s move to the eleven-time Greek champions has collapsed, has learned.

Maged Samy, the owner of both Wadi Degla and Lierse SK, traveled to Athens last week to negotiate the transfer and the clauses of the contract, with both sides confident an agreement would be reached.

The initial agreement set the ground for the 19-year-old left back to join AEK Athens on loan for a season, with the option to extend the loan for two additional seasons, Lierse SK had announced on their official website last week.

However, according to our Greek sources, the move has taken a negative turn due to disagreements in clauses of Hafez’s contract.

Additionally, the first agreement was set to give AEK Athens half of Hafez’s rights for the next three years, with Wadi Degla holding the other half. The agreement also stipulated that the Greek club would pay his salary, and if he was sold within the first three years of his contract, they would be reimbursed by Wadi Degla for half of the amount spent on Hafez’s salary up to that time. Both clubs verbally agreed to this, but Wadi Degla began to have second thoughts.

Wadi Degla requested two clauses in the transfer that AEK Athens immediately objected to. First, the Cairo-based club sought the option of first choice for Wadi Degla to decide if the player should be sold in case of an offer by another club. Second, they wanted to be paid an amount of around €500,000 if AEK were to qualify for the Champions League in the 2016-2017 season.

The disagreements regarding the transfer were only augmented when Lierse announced the basis for the transfer on their official website, despite the fact the clauses had not been finalized, which AEK Athens did not take kindly to.

In an attempt to quell any conflicting clauses, AEK then offered to buy 100% of the players rights immediately, but Wadi Degla refused their offer, as they were not ready to completely cut ties with their promising defender. Finally, Lierse’s general director sent an email to the AEK board requesting a meeting for discussions on a new agreement. The email was not returned, and AEK are now close to signing Spaniard Didac Vila, formerly of AC Milan, who played for Eibar in Spain last year.

It remains to be seen whether or not Wadi Degla can still come to an agreement, but the deal seems to be off for now, as Wadi Degla have also made a statement on the official website that talks have stalled for now.

Karim Hafez made his debut for Lierse’s senior side last season and was one of the club’s star performers, scoring three goals in the Jupiler Pro League. He couldn’t save the club from relegation, but the Wadi Degla product’s form didn’t go unnoticed as he was called up to the national team by Egypt’s Argentine manager Héctor Cúper, and made his debut for the Pharaohs in June; coming off the bench in a 2-1 friendly win against Malawi.

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