The revelation comes via Yahia Aly, an agent close to the deal, who also explained that the Gunners – as Arsene Wenger admitted earlier – had been tracking the player for the best part of a year.
“Arsenal initially started their contact around eight months ago,” Aly told KingFut.
“I assure you, the fee is much higher than that what’s reported.
He continued: “I am just pleased and proud that this is the second biggest deal in Egypt’s history that I am involved in after Mohamed Salah’s transfer to Chelsea.”
The broker also admitted that the Gunners weren’t the only European club tracking Elneny’s progress in Switzerland: “I can not confirm which clubs were interested, but I can tell you that there was contact from Germany’s Bundesliga and France’s Ligue 1.”
KingFut believe the fee was in part inflated due to a 15% sell-on fee owed to Egyptian club Arab Contractors who sold Elneny to Basel in 2013.
A report in The Mirror that the player might have to undertake national service at some point during his Arsenal career was also dismissed with the midfielder apparently exempt as he’s registered as a student in Egypt’s Ministry of Education.
On his Facebook page Elneny today posted a thank you to Arsenal strength and conditioning coach, Sam Wilson, who has apparently spent the last couple of weeks keeping the midfielder fit while his move was being finalised.
All in all, interesting stuff from KingFut. Worth a follow on Twitter if you want a daily Elneny fix.