Zamalek coach feels the heat

Daily News Egypt
3 Min Read

Zamalek striker Amr Zaki has admitted that his relationship with the Portuguese coach Manuel Cajuda has hit rock bottom.

The 23-year-old ace was omitted from Zamalek s starting lineup that faced Ittihad Libya in the Arab Champions League on Tuesday.

Cajuda accused me publicly of faking injury and deliberately omitted me from the starting lineup based on that, Zaki said late on Wednesday.

Zaki had initially refused to fly to Libya for the game due to an injury to his ear drum, but Cajuda insisted the player was running away from responsibility .

He insisted that I was running away even though a caught up with the team in Tripoli after taking the necessary precautions, said Zaki.

The former Lokomotiv Moscow player, who joined Zamalek after a summer-long courtship, said that Cajuda s callous approach was not directed at him alone, but at some of the team s top players as well.

[Cajuda] just doesn t like or want some players, said Zaki.

Everybody knows his attitude towards Captain Hazem Emam and some of the team s veterans like Tarek Al-Sayed and Ibrahim Saied.

I guess I m next on his list.

Meanwhile, Zamalek club general manager, Alaa Meklid, has voiced the board s support for Cajuda.

Meklid said that as long as Cajuda s policies are bringing order into the team and producing positive results, Zamalek s officials will back him up.

On the other hand, Meklid said that Zamalek will dispense LE 4,000 for each player for beating Ittihad on penalties and qualifying for the ACL quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, Zaki received two offers from Premiership sides Manchester City and Sheffield United, worth $3.8 million each and it is becoming highly likely that the Egyptian international completes a move in January.

Sheffield United also made an offer for Ibrahim Saied in the upcoming winter transfer period.

Zamalek received an official fax from 4 Steps Player Management Company confirming Sheffield s interest in both players.

The Premiership requested that both players travel to England on Dec. 3, 2006 for a one-week trial period and medical before finalizing the deal.

Zamalek s response was positive as the Cairo giants agreed to release the two players but after coordinating with the team s technical staff.

The offer Sheffield made for Saied, who had a short spell at Everton in 2003, is worth £200,000 ($380,000).

Agent Mohamed Hamid said that the offer made for the services of Saied was low since the player s contract with Zamalek runs out at the end of the season.

Zamalek officials had initially requested that Sheffield negotiate with them directly but the English side insisted it would only hold talks through 4 Steps company.

Sheffield, one of England s most prominent clubs, currently hold 18th place in the Premier League table on 13 points.

Mohamed Sabe

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