CAIRO: The future of Zamalek right-back Ahmed Ghanem is unclear as he skipped training for several days after the club said it wanted to extend his contract.
Ghanem was criticized for his below-par display in last week’s Cairo derby that helped Mohamed Barakat hold him off to score in stoppage time and give Ahly a thrilling 3-3 draw.
He was set to be rewarded with a new contract though, with his current deal due to expire at the end of the season.
But it remains to be seen whether Zamalek would be ready to resume talks with Ghanem over a new deal.
"Ghanem has failed to turn up for training since the Cairo derby," Zamalek’s de facto football director Ibrahim Hassan told FilGoal.com on Saturday.
"He sustained an injury against Ahly but he should have undergone his treatment here (inside the club’s headquarters) under the supervision of the team’s doctor.
"It seems that he is trying to avoid talking about the new deal."
Ghanem was given a new lease of life following the appointment of coach Hossam Hassan, the twin brother of Ibrahim, in November last year.
He became the team’s regular right-back in a new 4-4-2 formation used by Egypt’s all-time leading scorer.
Recent reports linked him with a move to Zamalek’s arch-rivals Ahly but the Red Devils said they were not interested in signing him.
"I feel that Ghanem is getting ready for something new. If he signs for Ahly, he will betray the team that helped him become the player he is now," Ibrahim Hassan added.
"I don’t want to undervalue the work Ghanem has done for Zamalek, but he should be aware that we will not be affected by the absence of any player."