CAIRO: Standard Liege’s outcast striker Emad Meteb will return to Ahly when the transfer window reopens in January, the Egyptian champions said late on Thursday.
"We finalized an agreement with Meteb to sign him in January," Ahly’s football director Hadi Khashaba told FilGoal.com.
"He will join up with our team once he ends his problem with Standard Liege."
Meteb joined Belgian side Standard in the close season following the expiry of his contract with Ahly, where he enjoyed a highly-successful six-year spell.
However, he stirred controversy after failing to honor his contract with the four-time Belgian champions.
The 27-year-old said he would not be able to play with Standard next season despite signing a deal with them.
He cited the Egyptian mandatory military service as an excuse to annul the two-year contract he signed but local reports said he sought a return to Ahly, who struggled without his presence.
Ahly coach Hossam Al-Badri could not find a reliable frontman to fill the void of Meteb, who played a key role in helping the Red Devils win a host of local and continental titles during the past six years.
Shortage of options upfront clearly took its toll on Ahly, who could only collect five points out of possible nine in their first three Egyptian Premier League games.
"Meteb belongs to Ahly. We have been in contact with him since he left and are looking forward to having him available again," Khashaba added.
Meteb’s agent Nader Shawki said earlier this week that his client was on the verge of reaching an out-of-court settlement with Standard after violating his deal with the club.
The Egypt striker, who fell out of favor with the Pharaohs’ coach Hassan Shehata as a result of his transfer dispute, should pay Standard €0.5 million in compensation.
The club will consequently allow him to depart without taking the matter to world governing body FIFA.
Meteb, who was branded as thief by Standard, could not complete a move to English second-division side Bristol City in the summer of 2008.