Saturday Dec 22 07:46
Pireas giants Olympiakos are on the verge of clinching one of their biggest transfer deals ever, as Fernando Belluschi is expected to join them within the next few days.
As the majority of Argentine and Greek media report today the River Plate star will definitely move to the Super Cup and Super League title holders, although it seems that the transfer’s cost has yet to be finalized.
According to the Argentines, Olympiakos have offered 6.5 million euros to ensure them 60% of the 24-year-old’s sporting rights, whereas the Greeks suggest that a six million bid will buy the Pireas side a 50% share, with Israeli agent Pini Zahavi securing the other half.
Both parts agree that the international midfielder has agreed to a four-year contract, which he was expected to receive by fax today. His annual salary will probably be as high as one million.
“We’re playing against Chelsea”
The former Newell’s Old Boys man already feels part of Olympiakos, as he himself told the Protathlitis sports daily. “I know that talks have gone ahead, as my agent has already met up with the River Plate administration. However, my club have not informed me yet, so there’s not much I can say at the moment.”
“My agent, Alberto Meo, is keeping me posted. I’m in my hometown (Los Quirquinchos) waiting for that call. I would be happy to join Olympiakos. They’re one of Europe’s major clubs, always winning trophies.”
Belluschi said that he has not yet contacted any of his fellow Argentines already plying their trade in Pireas (Rodrigo Archubi, Cristian Ledesma, Luciano Galletti and Leo Núñez), but added he has drawn information about the club, the “Georgios Karaiskakis” ground and the Olympiakos current UEFA Champions League campaign over the internet.
The Argentine even commented the competition’s second phase draw against the likes of Chelsea. “We’re in for two great games. It will be an awesome experience for me to take part.”
“I have not yet spoken to any Olympiakos representative, but I expect I’ll be signing my contract as soon as possible.”
Managing director Petros Kokkalis, the son of club owner and president Sokratis, did not return to Greece after Friday’s draw in Nyon, but flew off to London to close the deal. As Meo told the Goal News sports newspaper, their only difference lies in the contract’s duration, with Belluschi eager for a three-and-a-half year deal.
But this seems like a mere detail, with the Clarín daily reporting that he has already started taking Greek lessons. The Argentine of Italian origin, expected in Greece on Thursday, will be Olympiakos’s second winter signing this season after the Slovenian Mirnes Sisič from Levadiakos.
The Super Cup and Super League reigning champions are reportedly interested in signing also Sotiris Kyrgiakos of Eintracht Frankfurt, as well as a defensive midfielder, with Romanian Ovidiu Petre of Steaua and Grigoris Makos of Panionios their primary targets.
Panos Bletsos, Goal.com