CAIRO: Ismaili left Moatassem Salem with no option but to stay put after rejecting an offer from Ahly to sign him, the central defender said on Wednesday.
The Egyptian international initially said he wanted to join a Cairo club to nurse his ill son in the capital’s hospitals.
Zamalek and Ahly, Cairo’s fierce rivals, expressed an interest in acquiring his services but neither could agree a deal for him.
Ismaili, with no love lost between them and Ahly, opted to sell him to Zamalek in a swap deal that would have seen Egypt sweeper Hani Saied move the opposite direction.
But Salem objected to the move and voiced his desire to join Ahly, whom Ismaili fans usually accuse of trying to destabilize their team through snapping up their stars.
Ismaili board members unanimously rejected any approach the Red Devils tried to make, giving Salem few options to choose from.
"I will stay with Ismaili next season. I will join the team’s pre-season training camp on Saturday," the 30-year-old told FilGoal.com.
"Petrojet were also interested in signing me but I prefer to remain with Ismaili. I’m looking forward to playing in the African Confederation Cup."
Ahly rarely succeed in their attempts to strike bargains with bitter rivals Ismaili in the transfer market.
The Egyptian champions’ current squad boasts several ex-Ismaili players but most of them joined as free agents.
Versatile midfielder Mohamed Abdullah, now at Zamalek, and defender Sherif Abdul-Fadil were the only players to join Ahly from Ismaili during the past decade.