Former Arsenal, Manchester United target gets six years in jail

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From being linked with Arsenal and Manchester United three years ago, Mohamed Zidan now finds himself in more than a spot of bother.

Mohamed Zidan will not just be remembered for nearly sharing a famous footballing moniker with a former World Cup winner, but for being a sensational talent in his own right too.

The former Borussia Dortmund striker even scored against England for Egypt in a friendly in 2010 at Wembley, and is a two-time African Nations Cup winner.

Also back in 2010 SkySports reported his father Abdullah Zidan as saying: "There are clubs like Arsenal, Barcelona and Manchester United that have asked his agent about Mohamed. Mohamed has a contract at Dortmund until 2012, but he has a clause allowing him to leave the club at the end of the season for a certain amount of money."

Neither Premier League side came in for him, he even played against Arsenal in 2011, and he ended up signing for Mainz in 2012 before taking his career to the Middle East. Now 31, his playing days appear to have come to an abrupt halt.

Eurosport UK are one of a number of media across the world to report the quite remarkable news that Zidan has been sentenced to six years in jail - although he is not yet behind bars.

"The former Mainz, Werder Bremen, and Borussia Dortmund striker allegedly issued three bad cheques to an Egyptian real estate company.

"An Egyptian court has since ruled that Zidan, who was not present for the case, must serve six years in prison, though it is not entirely clear of his whereabouts."

Zidan was recently working as a pundit for Al Jazeera in the Middle East. He can appeal the sentence, but it is claimed he has to return to Egypt to lodge the appeal, a risky move as he would likely be instantly arrested upon entry to the country. He is yet to comment publicly on the case.

It's a very rare story, and could provide an insight into off-field distractions into how Zidan's career has just dropped off the map over the past 18 months. It is doubtful the 44-capped Egyptian international will represent his country again.

Check him out in action in happier times below:

image: © nolandstooforeign

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