West Bromwich Albion manager Slaven Bilic has revealed his disappointment with Ahmed Hegazi’s transfer to Saudi Arabian club Al-Ittihad.
The 29-year-old teamed up with the Tigers on loan from the Championship club but will sign a permanent deal at the end of the 2020-21 campaign.
Hegazi has been with the Baggies since the summer of 2017 when he joined the side from Al Ahly and has made 104 appearances across all competitions.
The centre-back played a prominent role as West Brom gained promotion to the Premier League at the end of the 2019-20 season, making 14 starts.
Bilic has aired his frustration after the Baggies allowed Hegazi to leave the Hawthorns, despite an assurance from the club that the defender will remain with the side beyond this campaign.
"He has experience. He is a top professional," Bilic told BBC Sport.
“I wanted him to stay and he wanted to stay and then something happened and then he is off although I had assurances from the club that he would stay.
"That happened yesterday. Of course, I am not pleased. I am really disappointed because we need players. There is, of course, the economic side but we are a football club."
Hegazi has already penned an emotional farewell message to West Brom and hopes to continue his progress with Al-Ittihad, which he described as "one of the biggest and most popular" clubs in the Arab region and Asia.
“To my dear Baggies, I would like to thank you deeply for all the support you have given me over the past three years, through all the ups and downs. You have been amazing to me and my family,” the Egyptian wrote on Instagram.
“And I have always endeavoured to repay this faith by giving absolutely everything on the pitch for this great club, the fans and my teammates.
“I would also like to thank my teammates, coaches, and all the staff at West Bromwich Albion for welcoming me from day one, you have become family and I will miss you all, I wish you the best of luck for the rest of the season and the future.
“Now I'm looking forward to starting a new challenge with Al Ittihad club, which is one of the biggest and most popular in the Arab region, Asia.”
Hegazi could make his debut for his new club when they take on Al Ahli in a Pro League game on October 31.