There's Something About Amr (part 8)

Last updated : 19 January 2010 By Andy Beill

Zaki's version of events

In June, Zaki claimed Wigan's intention was to let his valuation go down again and refused to do a deal in January that would have benefitted Zamalek:

"Aston Villa offered £11 million to sign me in the first half of the season. However, Wigan refused to get compensation as they had hopes to sign me and let me join another club later in order to make money.

"They did the same with Palacios, buying him for £1 million and selling him to Spurs for £14 million. It was impossible for them to spend more than £6-7 million on me.

"Wigan is not one of the top four. All they want is to buy players for cheap and then make money by selling them to other clubs later. They would never pay ridiculous amounts of cash on me.

"Wigan's goal was to avoid relegation. Despite this, I always played to win. When you compare the number of goals that I scored, you will find me scoring more than Drogba as an example.

"Many people wonder why I stopped scoring at Wigan. They felt that I won't be their player next season so they started to drop me from selection. Bruce wanted to play Mido and Rodallega who are expected to stay at Wigan next season. Why would he play me when my price tag would hit the roof, then Zamalek would get the money and not Wigan?

"I wish to stay in the Premier League. It will be very hard for me to play in the Egyptian league after playing in world's number one league: the Premier League."

Bizarrely, just days later Zaki gave a rather more complimentary interview to the Wigan Observer and issued a come-and-get-me plea to the club's new manager, Roberto Martinez:

"I really wanted to stay with Latics - and I still do.

"I hear Martinez is a very talented coach who is still young and close to the players' age, which will help him get the best out of them. But this depends on the Latics board, who should make an official offer for Zamalek to sign me.

"Without a doubt, Wigan was a great experience for me, and I enjoyed every second of the time I spent with Latics in the Premier League."

Wigan were not buying this - or Zaki. According to his agent Nader Shawqi though, someone soon would.

Click here for part 9 of There's Something About Amr