Panathinaikos’ January Departures
The month of January was always expected to be a busy one for Panathinaikos as the club seeks to sell its most valuable assets in an attempt to wipe off a portion of the large debt surrounding the club. This will undoubtedly help in the interim as the club limps towards survival until the end of the season.
It is believed captain Dimitris Kourbelis can bring in the most funds to aid the Greens’ financial woes. Clubs such as Eintracht Frankfurt and Bologna are monitoring the situation, with the former submitting a 2 million Euro bid. Kourbelis is only 24, can cover multiple positions, has represented the Greek National Team, and has leadership qualities.
Attacking midfielder Lucas Villafanez is also on the lookout for a new team. There is no formal, concrete offer in from any club so far but he will have no difficulty finding a new club. He is one of the few still committed to the Greens, his headspace and performances cannot be questioned. However, the worsening financial situation at the club has made him look elsewhere. If he was to move this month it would not be until the last few days, with Toulouse, Nantes, St.Etienne and Fiorentina all linked.
Then there is the case of star centre back Rodrigo Moledo. The Brazilian has signed with Internacional for next season and beyond. He always wanted a return to his home country, but there is now a strong possibility he has played his last game for the club with PAOK close to announcing a loan deal until the end of the season. PAOK and the player have allegedly agreed to terms, so only a “no” from Panathinaikos would hinder the move. PAOK will also give the Greens a small fee, plus Ergys Kace, Dimitris Konstantinidis and Giannis Mystakidis. This would be a huge boost as the team is going to lose numerous key players, and Mystakidis in particular can help. Molins is injured, Chavez is gone and Pispas does not appear to be quite ready for this level yet, so a striker is desperately needed.
Additionally, Bryan Cabezas has departed and returned to parent club Atalanta. The Ecuadorian winger scored 2 goals in 14 appearances and asked to leave due to the club’s financial problems. Other Italian clubs have already shown an interest in acquiring the player on loan. Likewise, Yacouba Sylla will join Belgian club KV Mechelen on loan, opting not to return to Greece after the mid season break.
Finally, Andres Chavez has signed with Huracan in his native Argentina, ending a long-drawn out saga. He told Argentinian press that he is “looking forward to play again in Argentina”. Huracan acquired 50% of his rights from Panathinaikos, with Boca Juniors still keeping the other 50%.