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  Thursday, 29 August, 2002, 13:32 GMT 14:32 UK
Arsenal set to sign Shaaban
Arsene Wenger
Shaaban describes Arsene Wenger as a 'gentleman'
Egyptian goalkeeper Rami Shaaban looks set to join English Premiership champions Arsenal.

The 27-year-old, who was born in Sweden to an Egyptian father and a Finnish mother, told BBC Sport Online he has agreed a two-year deal at Highbury.

However, he said the move had yet to be confirmed because a fee has not been agreed with his old club, Swedish side Djurgardens IF.

"I was in London yesterday and I signed a two-year contract with Arsenal," Shaaban revealed.

"However I don't want to be over-optimistic since the financial matters are not settled yet. It is between the two clubs now."

Shaaban has been on trial at the club for two days, during which several goalkeepers were watched by Gunners manager Arsene Wenger.

Dream

Arsenal have been searching for an understudy to David Seaman since Richard Wright left for Everton and a deal for Juventus goalkeeper Fabian Carini fell through.

And Shaaban said he was happy to be signing as cover for the England number one.

"I do not have a problem with that, I am still young and I can learn a lot from Seaman," he said.

"It has been my dream to be a Gunner, anything could happen later."

International choice

Shaaban began his career in Sweden, but moved to Egypt to play for Cairo giants Zamalek in 1994.

Rami Shaaban
Shaaban is qualified to play for three countries
He returned to Sweden and joined second division club, Naka, in 1997 before joining his current Swedish side Djurgardens IF.

Shaaban is yet to play international football, and despite hoping to play for the Pharaohs he has been tracked by Sweden boss Lars Lagerback.

"My heart is in Egypt, but I am realistic. I am a Swedish too and honestly it would be better for me to represent the Swedish team," Shaaban said.

But BBC Sport Online contacted Egypt national team coach Mohsen Saleh, who said he was interested in including the player in his squad for the forthcoming African Nations Cup qualifiers.

"I will contact him the next couple of days and try to fly him over to Egypt after the Egypt vs Madagascar match. I am sure that he will be a great addition to the national team," Saleh said.


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