x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Baniyas sign Egypt playmaker Mohamed Aboutrika from Al Ahly

The Pro League challengers land the veteran playmaker on loan until the end of the season following the ongoing uncertainty about the Egyptian league.

Mohamed Aboutrika has joined Pro League club Baniyas.
Mohamed Aboutrika has joined Pro League club Baniyas.

Mohamed Aboutrika, the Egypt international, is set to complete a loan move to Baniyas from Al Ahly after rejecting the offer to join the Pro League club two weeks ago.

According to an official at the club, the 34-year-old playmaker, a former African Footballer of the Year nominee, will arrive at the club tonight to complete a medical and sign a six-month loan deal.

He will replace fellow countryman Mohamed Zidan, who has not featured for several months following a hamstring injury sustained against Al Shabab in September, in the winter transfer window that closes on Monday.

Aboutrika's decision to move to the UAE is largely due to the situation surrounding the Egyptian Premier League, where no domestic football has been played since the Port Said riot a year ago.

"Ahly has agreed to send Aboutrika out on loan because the future of the Egyptian league is still uncertain due to the current political situation in the country," Sayed Abdel Hafiz, the club's football director, was quoted as saying on the club's official website.

Aboutrika has 96 caps and HAS scored 39 goals since he made his debut for Egypt in 2001.

He has won seven Egyptian Premier League titles, two Egypt Cups, and three African Champions Leagues.

Elsewhere, the Oman captain Fawzi Bashir has moved to Ajman as their Asian player after Al Dhafra replaced him with Rodrigo Souza Silva from Al Shaab.

Bashir, who spent three seasons at Baniyas before being discarded by the Abu Dhabi club in September, was one of two Asian players at Dhafra in the first half of the season along with the Jordanian Anas Bani Yaseen.

Dhafra, however, decided to release the Omani midfielder on Wednesday and recruit Brazilian Silva, who was released by Al Shaab last week.

Bashir replaces Karrar Jassim of Iraq as Ajman's Asian player for the second half of the season.

arizvi@thenational.ae