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St Étienne lose out in embarrassing fashion in Mostafa Mohamed deal

23-year-old Egyptian striker Mostafa Mohamed confirmed on social media on Thursday evening that he had decided to join Turkish giants Galatasaray in an 18-month loan deal for a $2m fee, with an option to buy the player for $4m which expires in December 2021.

The move comes as a huge embarrassment to Ligue 1 side St Étienne, who had been chasing the player for weeks but managed to insult the player’s club, Zamalek, and their accompanying board to such a degree, via ASSE co-president Roland Romeyer’s negotiating tactics, that the Egyptian side refused to do business with Les Verts.

This, despite the fact that ASSE last night agreed to cave on Zamalek’s demands of a $5m permanent deal to be paid in one immediate instalment. The two sides had been quarrelling over this instalment issue for weeks, with St Étienne initially insistent about paying in two tranches owing to the difficult economic storm that is currently facing French football.

To add insult to injury, the player went to the Zamalek board to plead with them to let him join the French, relegation-threatened club, with whom he had agreed personal terms over a 4.5 year contract with. His first choice was Claude Puel and St Étienne, but the Zamalek board were so incensed by Romeyer’s actions that they forced the player to change his mind, reportedly even threatening his agents that they would tell Mohamed to drop them if they could not change the player’s mind.

ASSE have around 3 days to find a different striker.

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