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18 Juli 2008

Transfer news and speculation, 18 July

Wigan Athletic are close to signing the Egypt international Amr Zaki after he arrived at the JJB Stadium for a medical. The club's manager, Steve Bruce, has agreed to pay Zaki's club El Zalamek £1m to loan the striker for one season. The Latics could then sign him for a further £5m if he impresses. The 25-year-old, who has scored 27 goals in 48 internationals, said he was looking forward to playing in the Premier League.
Zaki told Sky Sports News: "I'm very happy to be here and hope to sign for Wigan. It was difficult for me to come here as my club still wanted me. I watch all the Premier League and Championship games and think a loan would be good so I can prove myself. There is a big difference between English and Egyptian football. The competition and the players are tougher here." The club also confirmed that the Sweden international Andreas Granqvist has joined Dutch club Groningen. The 23-year-old defender spent the second half of last season on loan at his former club Helsingborgs.
Stoke abandon Carson pursuit
Stoke City have ended their interest in the Liverpool goalkeeper Scott Carson. Stoke were believed to be lining up a £4m move for the England international, 22, who spent last season at Aston Villa on loan. Villa, who had previously expressed a desire to make the move permanent, were put off by a reported £10m price tag. The goalkeeper – who has two senior England caps – joined Liverpool from Leeds in January 2005 but has made only nine first-team appearances for the Reds, also spending time on loan at Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton. A Stoke statement said the club "remain hopeful of closing in on several new signings".
McGeady agrees new five-year deal
Celtic winger Aiden McGeady has signed a new five-year contract with the Scottish champions. The 21-year-old Republic of Ireland winger received the club's player of the year award on Wednesday night for his impressive season with Gordon Strachan's side. The Glaswegian provided the main creative spark in a team that secured a third successive title. Chief executive Peter Lawwell said: "The board is delighted to support Gordon in his plans for the future by securing Aiden on this long-term agreement."
Sturrock snaps up Stack and Bolasie
Plymouth have completed the signings of goalkeeper Graham Stack from Reading and winger Yala Bolasie, a 19-year-old from Maltese side Floriana for a nominal fee. Bolasie began with Rushden & Diamonds and has turned down the chance to join Sturm Graz in favour of a move to Argyle. "Bolasie has been signed for one reason – he has out-and-out potential," manager Paul Sturrock said. "At his time in his career, he could be good, bad or terribly indifferent. What I've got to do is settle him down."