Middlesbrough striker Mido has reportedly claimed he is mulling over the chance to join Premier League rivals Wigan Athletic on loan.
Quotes attributed to the 25-year-old in Africa, where he was on international duty with Egypt this week, suggest he will make a decision on a season-long temporary move after speaking to Boro boss Gareth Southgate.
Mido is quoted as telling Egyptian sport website FilGoal: 'I was informed that Wigan want to sign me on loan, but they are yet to contact Middlesbrough.
'Wigan coach Steve Bruce admires my abilities. He tried to sign me when he was in charge of Birmingham, and now he has renewed his interest.
'I will take my final decision next week after meeting Gareth Southgate.
'Southgate told me that he wants to keep me at the Riverside. I will talk with him to settle on the best choice.'
Mido, who played 63 minutes of the reigning African Nations Cup champions' shock 4-0 defeat in Sudan, has spent the summer working hard to regain full fitness after an injury-plagued first season with Boro following his £6million switch from Tottenham.
He was used as a substitute in last Saturday's 2-1 win over his former club, scoring the decisive second goal.
Boro were not commenting on the matter today, although there is a feeling on Teesside that they might be prepared to at least consider a realistic offer for the Egyptian. Whether that extends to a loan arrangement remains to be seen.
With record signing Afonso Alves and Dutch youngster Marvin Emnes having arrived at Middlesbrough, and Tuncay Sanli and Jeremie Aliadiere having impressed Southgate, Mido knows he will face stiff competition for selection.
He reportedly said: 'I seek regular first-team football. Both clubs can offer me equal chances to play on a regular basis. Both of them have very good strikers also.
'But I am sure I can force my way into the starting XI of any team once I regain full fitness.'