Saudi Arabia giants Al-Ahli land Egypt World Cup hopeful

Al-Ahli have pulled off something of a coup by announcing Egypt star Abdallah El-Said has joined them on a two-year contract. (AFP)
Updated 23 May 2018

Saudi Arabia giants Al-Ahli land Egypt World Cup hopeful

RIYADH: Al-Ahli have pulled off something of a coup by announcing Egypt star Abdallah El-Said has joined them on a two-year contract.
The 33-year-old attacking midfielder has won 33 caps for his country and has been named in the extended 29-man squad for the World Cup. He will find out if he has made Hector Cuper's final 23-man party for the World Cup in Russia on June 4.
Should he make the cut, he could well come up against some of his new Al-Ahli teammates when Saudi Arabia meet Egypt on June 25.
The signing of El-Said, from Egypt giants Al-Ahly where he made 154 appearances in seven years, represents a coup for Al-Ahli and a further statement of their intent to challenge Al-Hilal for the Saudi Pro League title next season. They lost out to Al-Hilal by a point on the final day of last season, but they have appointed a new coach in Pablo Guede and tied key players Omar Al-Somah, Mohamed Al-Fateel and Motaz Hawsawi to new deals.
Abdallah El-Said will be one of seven foreign players allowed in a Pro League squad next season, joining imports Mark Milligan, Al-Somah, Giannis Fetfatzidis, Claudemir and Leonardo in the ranks of the Jeddah club.
El-Said has spent the last two months on loan at Finnish club Kuopion Palloseura as he sought to gain match fitness ahead of the World Cup.
"Abdallah is a big name and very high-level player, we are happy to have him here," said KuPS sporting director Konstantin Shipulin at the time.


Neymar future remains up in the air as PSG reject Madrid offer

Updated 23 August 2019

Neymar future remains up in the air as PSG reject Madrid offer

  • Paris club said to turn down an offer from Barcelona of €40 million plus Coutinho and Rakitic

PARIS: Neymar remains no closer to getting his desired move away from Paris Saint-Germain amid reports Thursday the French club have rejected an offer from Real Madrid of €100 million($111 million) plus players.

French sports daily L’Equipe said Real had offered cash plus Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez and goalkeeper Keylor Navas, but PSG turned it down because “the overall value of the offer did not match their expectations.” 

Paris paid €222 million to sign Neymar from Barcelona two years ago and their sporting director Leonardo is understood to be determined to only sell the forward for a deal considered to be of the same value.

Real have spent the summer trying to offload Bale, while James is unwanted after returning from a loan at Bayern Munich and Navas is no longer the club’s first-choice goalkeeper.

Meanwhile, Barcelona remain hopeful of bringing Neymar back to the Camp Nou, but Catalan daily Sport claims an attempt to sign the player on loan with an obligation to buy for €160 million at the end of the season has been firmly rejected in Paris.

Sport claims Barcelona feel “it is very clear that PSG are trying to prevent the Brazilian from returning to the Camp Nou in any scenario.” 

PSG had previously reportedly turned down an offer from Barcelona of €40 million  plus Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Rakitic. Coutinho has since joined Bayern on loan.

Juventus are also believed to have stated an interest in signing the 27-year-old, who has not featured in any of PSG’s matches so far this season having been frozen out amid the uncertainty over his future. The transfer window closes in France, Spain and Italy on Sept. 2, meaning time is fast running out for a deal to be done.

Watford loan Sweden winger Sema to Udinese

Watford winger Ken Sema has completed a season-long loan move to Udinese, the Serie A side confirmed on Thursday.

The six-times capped Sweden international only moved to Vicarage Road last summer from Ostersunds FK and made 22 appearances for the English club.

The 25-year-old's departure follows the arrival of Senegal international Ismaila Sarr to the Premier League outfit on a club record transfer of €35 million   ($38 million) from Rennes. The northeastern Italian club and Watford are both owned by the Pozzo family.

Udinese host AC Milan in their opening match of the Serie A season on Saturday.