London: Aston Villa announced the signing of Egypt winger Mahmoud ‘Trezeguet’ Hassan from Turkish club Kasimpasa for a reported fee of £8.75 million (Dh40.1 million or $11 million) on Wednesday.
The 24-year-old scored one goal in four appearances at the Africa Cup of Nations and becomes the Birmingham club’s ninth signing of the transfer window.
Known as “Trezeguet”, Hassan has previously enjoyed stints at Anderlecht and Mouscron in Belgium after starting his career with Egypt’s Al Ahly.
“We’re really excited to work with ‘Trez’. I’ve watched him a number of times,” said Villa head coach Dean Smith.
“He’s the type of wide player that we have been looking for who is direct, causes problems for the opposition in the final third and scores goals.”
The club will now chase international clearance and a work visa for their latest recruit.
Villa have already signed former loan stars Kortney Hause and Tyrone Mings on permanent deals, and set a new club transfer record to bring in striker Wesley Moraes from Club Brugge.
Aston Villa start their Premier League campaign away at Tottenham on August 10.
Meanwhile, English soccer’s anti-racism monitors say cases of discrimination have risen for the seventh straight year.
The ‘Kick It Out’ group says it tracked 581 cases of discrimination in the 2018-19 season, compared to 520 the year before. The figures include games from the top professional leagues to grass roots youth level, as well as some incidents on social media.
Racist incidents made up 65 per cent of total reports. The sharpest rise was in cases of discrimination based on religion — including anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim incidents — with 63 cases noted compared to 36 the season before.
Kick It Out’s chief executive Roisin Wood says “football reflects the society it is played and watched in and these figures are sadly not surprising.”