Egypt coach Hany Ramzy has revealed that he will do all he can to prevent skipper Mohamed Aboutrika and striker Emad Moteab rejoining their clubs ahead of the Olympic quarter-finals.
The pair will be withdrawn from the squad as part of an agreement with their club side Al Alhy, who face Ghanaian side Berekum Chelsea in the African Champions League on Saturday.
However, after his side sealed qualification from Group C of the men's football tournament with a 3-1 win over Belarus, Ramzy has expressed his desire to retain the pair.
“We have an agreement that Aboutrika and Emad will fly back tonight and will be in Cairo at 08:00 tomorrow," he told reporters.
"But I’m hoping and I wish that Al Alhy club can understand the situation, what we have now, we have a very important match in the next three days.
“We need the players, the experience of the players, because they’ve had a very good three games.
The 43-year-old went on to state that he is particularly keen to keep Aboutrika with the squad, due to his experience and position as captain.
"Especially Aboutrika has a good connection with the players and he can use his experience in a very important match for us, so I hope he can come from Al Alhy club and we can keep him for next match," he added.
“I am going to call the Al Alhy club; I will ask especially about Aboutrika.
"I will ask for both, because both are very important, but if I can only get one player I would like Aboutrika, I will call as soon as possible to see if they agree with this.
“We can make a deal, because they need Emad, because I think the striker for Al Alhy is injured, so they may need Emed,but we can keep Aboutrika is what I will say to Al Alhy club.”
With pre-tournament favourites Spain out of the competition, Ramzy also claimed his side have a good chance of claiming a medal.
“Everyone before the tournament was talking about the favourite teams, Brazil and Spain and they’d be going for the medals, we played against Spain two months ago, they are a great team, we respect all the teams," he continued.
“Japan is a very strong, very fast team, so we don’t care about who is coming, we have to concentrate on ourselves, next two days we are going to study Japan, because I think that will be the next game and how we can make the best tactic to beat Japan.”