CAIRO: Emad Meteb has rejoined Ahly on a three-and-a-half year contract after annulling his deal with Belgian side Standard Liege, the Egyptian striker announced on Saturday.
"Ahly players and technical staff members were very happy today after I officially returned to the club," Meteb told Modern Kora.
"I will join the team’s training within two or three weeks to be fully fit to play when the transfer window reopens in January."
The 27-year-old was due to join Standard in the close season after his contract with Cairo giants Ahly expired.
He penned a three-year deal with the four-time Belgian champions but suddenly changed his mind and decided to return to Cairo, citing the Egyptian mandatory military service as an excuse.
He paid Standard €0.5 million in compensation after failing to honor his contract with them.
"I had a dream to play in Europe but some circumstances forced me to return home," Meteb stated.
"I would have faced a problem in February regarding the military service if I had remained in Belgium.
"I accepted my destiny. I’m ready now to play the remaining years of my career at Ahly."
Meteb also confirmed that he will announce his engagement to 2008 Miss Egypt Yara Naoum next week.
Naoum and Meteb were present in the stands during Ahly’s 1-1 draw at home to Algeria’s JS Kabylie in the African Champions League Group B clash last week.
Ahly’s lone striker Mohamed Fadl failed to trouble the Algerian defense during a hugely disappointing night for the Red Devils’ faithful.
Coach Hossam Al-Badri did not have plenty of options on the bench to replace the ineffective Fadl, who missed the spot kick which gave Harras Hodoud the Egyptian Cup title last season at the expense of Ahly.
He had to introduce back-up striker Osama Hosni, who was equally unimpressive as Ahly settled for an unfavorable draw.
"I have a serious problem upfront. I used all the options I have but all of them were disappointing," Al-Badri said after the game.
Ahly strikers have scored a mere one goal between them so far this season. The goal came from Mohamed Talaat in the team’s 2-1 Champions League win over bitter rivals Ismaili.
Meteb’s return to Ahly will hand Al-Badri a major and timely boost amid intense speculation over the coach’s future.
Local reports suggest that Ahly were considering bringing in a foreign coach to replace Al-Badri.