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Page last updated at 20:11 GMT, Sunday, 26 July 2009 21:11 UK

Al Ahly will not sign Hibs' Benji

Abdesellam Benjelloun
Abdesellam Benjelloun's hopes of a move to Egypt have been scuppered

Egyptian champions Al Ahly have ruled out signing Hibernian striker Abdessallam Benjelloun because they say they have found the "new Messi".

The 24-year-old Moroccan international, known as "Benji", had been expected to complete his move this weekend.

However, Al Ahly board member Khaled Mortagey told the BBC that the "deal has been cancelled".

"We have a young Algerian player called Amir Sayoud and we consider him the young Messi," Mortagey added.

"From a technical point of view, Sayoud is much better for the team," he said. "It has nothing to do with Benjelloun - he's a great player.


"But the team needs Sayoud more for the coming season."

Benjelloun has struggled at Easter Road since moving from Maghreb Fez in 2006, and spent loan spells in Belgium with Royal Charleroi and KSV Roeselare.

Al Ahly took part in the Wembley Cup at the weekend alongside Celtic, Tottenham and Barcelona.

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see also
Benjelloun moves on to Roeselare
01 Feb 09 |  Hibernian
Benjelloun reveals Hibs doubts
03 Dec 08 |  Hibernian
Benji Charleroi loan 'short term'
21 Aug 08 |  Hibernian

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