Bruce will fight to keep hold of striker Zaki

October 23, 2008

Wigan manager Steve Bruce admits he faces a fight to keep Amr Zaki at the JJB Stadium following the Egyptian's stunning start to life in the Premier League.

The 25-year-old, who has already scored seven goals to top the scoring charts, joined the Latics on a season-long loan from Egyptian side Zamalek in the summer.

Bruce revealed a fee of £7.25million was agreed but he felt a permanent deal would be "a risk''. That price is now sure to be increased and there have been reports other clubs could step in in January.

Wigan's boss told the Guardian: "I want to put the record straight because, at the minute, everyone wants a piece of the fellow. The truth of the matter is he's on loan with us until June. That's a fact.

"Over the next few weeks, or however long it takes, we will try and open negotiations with Zamalek and do everything in our power to try and make sure he stays here.

"Zamalek were hoping, and that's why they took the deal, that he would do well. Obviously, the better he does, the bigger the fee. He's our player, so we're in the driving seat.

"We haven't got first refusal on anything. But we have got to see if we can agree a transfer fee with Zamalek.

"Of course, with hindsight, it would have been nice for him to have been ours. But we have still got a chance - that is the most important thing - and we will do our utmost.''