Martins lining up possible Olympiacos summer signings
New Olympiacos boss Pedro Martins held his first official press-conference since taking over the former Greek champions, laying out the targets for the upcoming 2018/2019 season.
Olympiacos endured a miserable Super League campaign, relinquishing their grip on the Greek title for the first time in eight years and struggling for consistency. Four different managers all managed the Thrylos during the year, as a stuttering Olympiacos could only finish in third place of the table, in turn missing out on UEFA Champions League football. Nevertheless, with Pedro Martins’ arrival, there is hope of the club turning the situation around before the 2018/2019 season begins.
At his maiden press-conference in Piraeus, Martins spoke in a confident manner: “It’s a great honour for me to represent Greece’s largest club,” began the 47-year old Portugal national. “I hope we will take Olympiacos into a new era for this team, while always preserving the size of this club. We must play with our soul and give everything on the pitch. I know very well what’s waiting for me, what the fans want from me and the way the team should play.”
Martins then touched upon the style in which Olympiacos will play and what’s required to improve: “My objective is to play well, to build an offensive-minded squad with its own personality and, thus, be able to control the match. This can only be the outcome of hard work and focus, to perform attractively on the pitch so that the fans like what they see and, then, results will come. Discipline is critically important. The players to join Olympiacos will also represent this great club by means of their attitude. Inappropriate attitudes will be dealt with swiftly.”
Recently, reports emerged suggesting Olympiacos are aiming to sign 15 new players in the summer transfer window, as well as having five loanees return to the club.
With goalkeeper Silvio Proto expected to leave, Olympiacos are waiting to confirm the signing of young Slavia Sofia stopper Antonis Stergiakis and take the talented Andreas Gianniotis back from Atromitos Athens.
In defence, Willem II left-back Konstantinos Tsimikas will be returning to parent club Olympiacos following an impressive debut campaign in the Eredivisie. Wanting to strengthen the back line, Martins is eager to sign Spyros Risvanis, Dimitris Goutas, Giannis Masouras and Bruno Gaspar.
Moving into midfield, the gritty, diminutive Manolis Siopis is ready for his second attempt at nailing a place down in the Olympiacos starting 11 after spending the season with Panionios. The main talking point surrounds Lazaros Christodoulopoulos, who is out of contract at AEK and is yet to sign a new agreement with the Kitrinomavri. Olympiacos are focused on pinching the Super League’s standout midfielder of the 2017/2018 season.
Further forward, Olympiacos are closing in on getting the Dimitris Manos deal over the line. Manos enjoyed a fantastic season with OFI in the Football League, helping the Cretans earn promotion by scoring an impressive 24 goals.
Previously on AGONAsport, the possible departures from Olympiacos were covered.
Elsewhere, Standard Liege completed the permanent transfer of Cypriot defender Konstantinos Laifis for 1.5 million euros from Olympiacos and Serbian forward Uros Djurdjevic revealed his desire to stay in Piraeus: “People are saying that I’m returning to Partizan, but that’s not the case,” stated Djurdjevic. “I am concentrating on Olympiacos, I came here for the next step in my career. Next season, I expect to be given more chances to show what I’m capable of. I didn’t play very much this year, but I still managed to score four goals in the little time I was on the pitch and I competed in five Champions League matches.”