Ismaily could sign Barcelona player, says club president

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Ismaily chairman Yehia El-Koumy has confirmed that the Egyptian Premier League outfit could sign a player from Spanish powerhouse FC Barcelona.

Ismaily has a busy transfer window, having already signed four players including Bolivian Carmelo Algarañaz, Diego Dorregaray from Argentina, Gambia winger Saikou Conteh and Jean-Morel Poe from Ivory Coast.

READ: Ismaily threatens to withdraw from League Cup after late Al Ahly draw

It is part of the newly elected board’s efforts to usher in a new era for the club under new Argentine head coach Juan Brown.

The Yellows currently sit 17th in the table, with just two points from seven matches, but are set to turn things around once the Egyptian Premier League resumes.

However, El-Koumy is still looking to add more power to the squad, hinting at a player based in Europe.

“We have added great players to the squad, and there are still more deals to come,” El-Koumy told ONTime Sport radio.

“One of the agents offered us a player from Benfica, it is also possible to include a player from Barcelona if there is a place in the team.

“We watch clips of the players, which are presented to the club’s technical committee, and then we study the player’s stats and goals on Transfermarkt,” he added.

El-Koumy then assured the fans that the centre-back and team captain weren’t going anywhere, despite interest from Al Ahly and Zamalek.

“Baher is not for sale, even if we are offered EGP 50 million. We have renewed the player’s contract and we have no intention of letting him go,” he continued.

El-Koumy then spoke of the difficulty of dealing with Egyptian players, who he believes tend to overestimate their value, including Mohamed Hassan whom they tried to sign from Ceramica Cleopatra.

“Egyptian players greatly exaggerate their prices, foreigners are cheaper than Egyptians. I recruit a player from a European League, and we could bring another one who plays in the Champions League and who has scored two goals recently.

“The price of the duo is lower than all Ismaily players, and I won’t even mention Al Ahly players,” he explained.

“We hear surreal figures, every player wants to get a salary of 5-6-10 million Egyptian pounds.

“In order to reduce this exaggeration of prices, the Football Federation and the Association of Professional Clubs should allow clubs to sign more foreigners so that Egyptian players know its size.

“Ceramica asked for EGP 7 million for the club and another five million for the player. £12 million? Why? I will bring a better player than him, a foreigner for $200,000, and pay him a salary of $100,000.

“With all due respect to the club and the player, but I will not pay these sums,” he concluded.

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