Olympiacos close to signing Nottingham pair
Having already entered June, Olympiacos are looking to get stuck into summer transfer business, edging towards completing a few clever deals.
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Initially, the Thrylos focused on former Panathinaikos centre-back Rodrigo Moledo to strengthen their shaky defence, but in recent days, they have turned their attentions to Argentine Cristian Lema. The 27-year old, who currently plays his football with Belgrano in his home country, is highly thought of by incoming Olympiacos boss Pedro Martins, with the Piraeus club entering negotiations with the Argentina national. Taking into account Lema’s expiring Belgrano contract, Olympiacos don’t have to make any transfer bids and only have to agree personal terms with the player. However, according to sources in Greece, there are sticking points preventing the deal from being completed quickly and if Olympiacos are to sign Lema, it will take time. Interestingly, Lema has never played outside of his home country previously in his career.
Just to make matters more difficult for Olympiacos, the situation with imposing defender Moledo has developed complications. Moledo was Olympiacos’ main defensive transfer target, however as a part of his Internacional contract, any Greek team which signs the Brazilian must pay a further two million to Panathinaikos. Nevertheless, Olympiacos do still harbour hope of pinching Moledo and aren’t prepared to wave the white flag, even if Internacional are proving to be stubborn in transfer talks. In January 2018, Moledo left Panathinaikos for Internacional after the Greens got caught up in a huge financial mess.
On the other hand, rumours have appeared stating that Olympiacos are attempting to take Scottish winger Barrie McKay from English side Nottingham Forest. Adding the fact that Greek businessman Evangelos Marinakis owns both Olympiacos and Nottingham, there is a high chance that McKay will be signed, especially given how much new manager Martins admires the young Scot’s talents on the wing. Boasting the ability to play either as a striker or on the flanks, McKay scored five goals and dished out seven assists in 26 Championship appearances during the 2017/2018 campaign, attracting the attention of Olympiacos. Alongside McKay, Nottingham teammate Andreas Bouchalakis could be on his way to Piraeus. Following a poor season in the English second tier, Bouchalakis is eager to travel back home to Greece and Marinakis is ready to give him a chance to turn his fortunes around.
Overall, Olympiacos are still on the lookout for one defender, one winger, one centre-forward and two central midfielders. Talented playmaker Giannis Fetfatzidis, free to join whoever he wants after his contract with Al Ahli was ripped apart, has agreed on a three-year deal with Olympiacos and all that remains is the official announcement from the club. The Drama born Fetfatzidis came through the ranks at Olympiacos, later playing for Genoa, Chievo and Al Ahli abroad and is well liked among the Thrylos. Sanjin Prcic, the Rennes midfielder, is reportedly on Olympiacos’ watch-list and is wanted by the Piraeus outfit. Andreas Gianniotis, Konstantinos Tsmikas and Manolis Siopis will definitely return to Olympiacos for the 2018/2019 season.
Moving onto the topic of departures, Serbian media reported that Marko Marin was spotted in Belgrade on Sunday evening amid stories connecting the diminutive German to a Red Star transfer. Instead of signing him on a permanent contract, Red Star favour a one-year loan while paying Olympiacos 1.2 million for that period of time.