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Page last updated at 10:52 GMT, Monday, 18 May 2009 11:52 UK

Bruce decides against Zaki deal

Amr Zaki
Zaki scored two goals against Liverpool at Anfield

Wigan manager Steve Bruce has confirmed he will not be signing Egyptian striker Amr Zaki on a permanent basis.

Zaki joined Wigan in July 2008 on a year-long loan deal from home-country club Zamalek and was an instant hit, with eight goals in his first 10 games.

But the strike rate dried up, he has been hit by injuries and the 26-year-old angered Bruce after returning late from international duty four times.

Bruce said: "We will not be taking the option to sign him when his loan ends."

Zaki missed Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Stoke City because of a knee problem and he will not be fit for the final game of the season at home to Portsmouth.

He has not scored from open play since mid-October and his last goal came on December 28. Zaki has been affected by injuries but the deterioration of his relationship with Bruce has cost him a permanent deal.

In early April he was fined for the fourth successive time after returning late from international duty, leading to Bruce labelling the player "the most unprofessional I have worked with".

The writing has been on the wall for a while now

Wigan boss Steve Bruce on Amr Zaki not being signed permanently

Zaki has played only three times since then and the knee injury sustained at West Brom on 9 May means he has almost certainly played his last game for Wigan.

Bruce also felt the player, who scored twice in the 3-2 defeat by Liverpool in October, allowed his head to be turned by links to Real Madrid, Chelsea and Liverpool after making an early impact on the Premier League.

"The writing has been on the wall for a while now but it's a shame, it really is," he added.

"There was no doubt Zaki had the world at his feet last October when he scored those two goals against Liverpool at Anfield.

"He had a wonderful chance over here but he was badly advised I think, he listened to the wrong people.

"If he had listened to the people he should have done - his adviser is a decent fellow - he would have been okay.

"It's a shame it's worked out this way, he set us on fire with those goals earlier in the season.

606: DEBATE

"But Zaki hasn't scored from open play since Liverpool. We've missed him in that respect but there you go."

Bruce also has other major decisions to make as Zaki's compatriot and fellow striker Mido is coming to the end of his loan spell from Middlesbrough.

Antonio Valencia may also have played his last match for Wigan after missing Saturday's defeat at Stoke with a hamstring injury.

The Ecuador winger has been linked with a number of clubs over the last year and is destined to leave the JJB Stadium in a big-money deal this summer.

"Antonio will inevitably go, that will be very difficult for us. Now we have to go and find some new players," stated Bruce.

"We've got to do our homework over the summer, find two more strikers from somewhere, we'll try everywhere.

"We'll get good money for Antonio but that won't necessarily make us better because we're losing such a talent.

"For example, we could get three players in with that money, improve the squad overall, but maybe not make us a better team."



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see also
Zaki fit to make return for Wigan
22 Apr 09 |  Wigan
Angry Bruce lambasts absent Zaki
02 Apr 09 |  Wigan
Liverpool 3-2 Wigan
18 Oct 08 |  Premier League
Bruce hails Wigan's awesome Zaki
29 Sep 08 |  African
Wigan complete Zaki loan switch
22 Jul 08 |  Wigan


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