ENPPI have announced that they have turned down an offer from Sunderland for winger Ahmed Al-Muhammadi.
The Egypt international has been on the radar of the Premier League club in recent weeks, but Steve Bruce was only prepared to offer him an initial one-year loan deal, similar to the one offered to Amr Zaki when the Black Cats boss was in charge of Wigan last season.
Zaki had proved a hit when he arrived in England scoring freely for his new club, but injuries and a lack of discipline eventually led to Bruce deciding against his permanent signature.
And his ''apparent'' thought process in trying to lure the 21-year-old from the Petroleum club seems to have worked against him.
''ENPPI can confirm that the offer from Sunderland was not at a satisfactory level and not up to scratch,'' a statement on the club website. ''To take the player on loan for the rest of the season is completely unacceptable, considering the name and quality of the player.
''We saw a tribute to the player in the last few days by the manager Steve Bruce, but apparently, he is affected by his unpleasant experience with Amr Zaki, and that's why he was hesitating to complete Al-Muhammadi deal.
''Al-Muhammadi is a player of a high calibre who doesn't need to prove his worth yet again.''
Sunderland are not the first English club to show interest in the ENNPPI star, with Blackburn also reported to have been keen on landing him last season.
His current employers also confirmed that they will be willing to let him leave in January, adding: ''Al-Muhammadi will be permitted to move to Europe in the winter transfer period in January, provided the satisfactory valuation can be met.''