CAIRO: Ismaili are stepping up their efforts to convince goalkeeper Essam Al-Hadari, the hero of their Egyptian Cup quarter-final victory over Ittihad, to stay put.
The Egypt goalie has repeatedly expressed his desire to leave Ismaili, the club he joined last summer after his contract with Swiss side Sion expired, in the close season.
He complained about the club’s failure to fulfill their financial obligations towards him on several occasions this season.
Reports also suggested that Al-Hadari was not content playing for a team who rarely compete for the league title, having gotten used to winning local and continental titles with Ahly before leaving them in an acrimonious manner in 2008.
He fuelled those rumors when he issued a come-and-get-me-plea to Ahly last month before apologizing for his comments.
"We are doing our best to resolve the problems of Al-Hadari," an Ismaili official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told FilGoal.com on Monday.
"Vice-president Hammad Mousa will sit down with him later today in an attempt to convince him to stay next season."
Ismaili finished third in the league this season but still have the Egyptian Cup to play for as they seek to win their first piece of silverware since 2002.
Al-Hadari blocked Ittihad’s third penalty and converted Ismaili’s fifth himself to help the Dervishes claim a 5-3 shootout win after a 1-1 draw to set up a meeting against holders Harras Hodoud in the semi final.
"We need Al-Hadari to stay with us next season, he is one of the most important members of our team," the official added.
"His presence will be essential when we begin the Champions League group stage campaign."