CAIRO: Temperamental attacking midfielder Mostafa "Afrotto" Mahmoud ended speculation regarding his future by committing his future to Ahly despite lack of playing time.
Reports suggested that the diminutive 21-year-old might leave Ahly and join their arch-rivals Zamalek after growing increasingly frustrated with lack of first-team opportunities.
"I can’t leave an invaluable club like Ahly and join any other side," he said in a television interview on Wednesday.
"With all due respect to Zamalek, who are also a big and respectable club, I’m one of the players nurtured by Ahly and I can’t leave them."
Afrotto rose to prominence when he produced some impressive displays in last year’s U-20 World Cup campaign with Egypt on home soil.
His dribbling skills tipped him to become one of Ahly’s stars but he struggled to convince coach Hossam Al-Badri that he deserved to earn a regular place in the team’s starting line-up due to some disciplinary problems.
However, Al-Badri hinted he might rely more on him in the coming period following the Red Devils’ elimination from the African Champions League semis at the hands of Tunisia’s Esperance.
"I’m aware that I did not fulfill my responsibilities in the past period," Afrotto added.
"But I promise the fans that they will see a new Afrotto. I’m keen to make amends and become an important member of Ahly’s squad."
Afrotto said he is close to extending his deal with Ahly, who boast several stars in his position such as Mohamed Abou-Trika, Geddo and Mohamed Barakat.
"I will probably sign a five-year contract extension next week," he concluded.