Hughes hopes to keep Sobhi for Watford game ahead of AFCON
Mark Hughes has confirmed that he wants to keep his African players for the team’s game against Watford in the 19th round of the English Premier League.
Ramadan Sobhi, Mame Diouf, and Wilfried Bony are set to depart for the Africa Cup of Nations next month, and Hughes is trying to keep them for the Potters’ first game in 2017.
The Welshman has said that Senegal will grant his request, while Egypt and Ivory Coast have asked their players to report on Monday.
“Clearly we’ve got a game on Tuesday and we’re trying to negotiate for all of the players to at least be available for that game,” Hughes said.
“We might have a little bit leeway from Senegal but at the moment Egypt and the Ivory Coast aren’t seeing it our way unfortunately.
“But we’ll continue to ask the question. I don’t think we’ve conceded on that yet but we’re likely to have Mame Diouf; the other two probably not,” he concluded.
Sobhi has been called up by Egypt manager Héctor Cúper for the Africa Cup of Nations next month, which will be played in Gabon from 14 January to 5 February.
The Pharaohs were drawn in group D alongside Uganda, Ghana and Mali, with the top two teams from the group advance to the quarter-finals.
Egypt will kick off their campaign against Mali on the 17th of January, then will face Uganda and Ghana on the 21st and the 25th respectively.
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