West Brom agree season-long loan for Ahmed Hegazi
West Brom have agreed a deal with Al Ahly to take centre-back Ahmed Hegazi on a season-long loan, the Egyptian champions have confirmed.
The Baggies are set to pay a loan fee of £875,000 and included in the deal is an option to buy the 26-year-old for £3.5m before June 30, 2018.
Hegazi reportedly flew over to England this weekend to undergo a medical after Al Ahly granted him special dispensation to miss Monday’s end-of-season Cairo derby with rivals Zamalek.
As revealed by the Express & Star earlier this week, Albion decided to make a move for 6ft 5in Hegazi after baulking at the £8m loan fee Chelsea demanded for Kurt Zouma.
Hegazi, who is known as the ‘Nesta of the Pyramids’ after the great Italian defender, started his career at home-town club Ismaily before joining Fiorentina in December 2011.
His years in Serie A were plagued with injury and in the summer of 2015 he he joined Al Ahly in the on a five-year deal.
He has been capped 39 times for Egypt and was named in the 2017 African Cup of Nations team of the tournament.
If he passes his medical, he will become Albion’s third arrival of the summer after £15m man Jay Rodriguez and commercial acquisition Yuning Zhang, and would bolster a threadbare back-line which currently has just four senior defenders.
Middlesbrough's former Egyptian striker Mido was contacted by a Premier League coach this week.
“One of the most experienced coaches in the Premier League spoke to me last week and inquired about Hegazy," said Mido. "I predict that we will see him in the Premier League very soon."
Hegazi is expected to fly out to Hong Kong and join up with his new team-mates, who landed today ahead of the Premier League Asia Trophy.
Speaking for the first time this season, Baggies boss Tony Pulis said: “Football-wise, it’s only the second week of pre-season so we won’t be at full tilt.
“Although we’ll want to win all the games, the most important thing is getting the players through fit - those 90 minutes or 60 minutes or 80 minutes they play. We’re really looking forward to it.”
Elsewhere, Albion striker Zhang scored his first goal for Werder Bremen – where he is on loan for the next two seasons – in a 3-0 friendly victory over German club VfL Osnabrück.