PAOK get set for a busy summer
AGONAsport takes a look at PAOK’s summer transfer activity, as the Dikefalos tou Vorra aim to strengthen ahead of a new tilt at the Super League title.
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For the most part, PAOK enjoyed a thoroughly successful campaign in Greece, finishing second in the Super League after getting caught up in unsavoury scandals and claiming their second successive Greek Cup. Hungry to build on the team’s potential, Romanian head coach Razvan Lucescu wants to keep the leading lights and bolster the squad with quality signings.
In January, Giannis Mystakidis and Erge Kace left for Panathinaikos on loan deals, but the former failed to catch the eye with the Greens and will move back to PAOK, where he will probably be moved on. However, on the other hand, Albanian Kace is set to put a permanent contract with Panathinaikos and stay in the Greek capital.
Suffering relegation from the Bundesliga with Hamburg, imposing centre-back Kyriakos Papadopoulos is on the market and aiming to remain in the top division. PAOK are one of the most interested teams, with Hamburg requesting at least five million euros for the defender. Papadopoulos’ childhood club growing up was PAOK, and it is expected that he will play for the team at some point in his career.
Croatian veteran Darijo Srna has arrived in Thessaloniki and is expected to sign a 1+1 year deal with PAOK. Despite his age of 36 years, the defender has an impressive career where he spent 15 years with Shakhtar Donetsk in the Ukraine.
It’s pretty much definite that Robert Mak will not continue his career with PAOK. The Slovakian struggled to build up momentum in his second spell in Greece, not performing when on the pitch and losing the trust of the coaching staff. Belonging to parent club Zenit Saint Petersburg, Mak is eager for a new challenge and will be moved on by the Russians.
Taking into account how Alexandros Paschalakis transformed himself into PAOK’s number one goaltender, it now seems that Rodrigo Rey is on the lookout for a new club after he only played in 12 matches for the Thessaloniki team. He will be joined by fellow goalkeeper Panagiotis Glykos. Glykos, who was voted PAOK’s Players’ Player of the Year for the 2016/2017 season, ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and didn’t play in a single match this campaign.
After a stunning season between the sticks for PAOK, Alexandros Paschalakis is a wanted man in Italy. Napoli director Cristiano Giuntoli has watched Paschalakis play and by all indications has been given the all clear to start negotiations with PAOK for the shot stopper. Paschalakis has a five million buyout clause in his contract which ends at the end of summer 2019, but it’s negotiable and an agreement can be reached between the two parties.
Turkish giants Besiktas are setting their sights on getting PAOK key player Dimitris Pelkas, having already made enquiries about the talented 24-year old. However, PAOK have included the international midfielder in their plans for the new season after he enjoyed a career-best campaign, scoring on 12 occasions and dishing out a further 12 assists in all competitions. In order for another team to secure Pelkas’ services, they will have to be willing to spend close to seven million euros which is the buy-out clause in Pelkas’ contract.
Aleksandar Prijovic, the Super League’s top scorer with an impressive 19 goals, is attracting real interest from the Far East. This isn’t the first time that PAOK will have a fight on their hands to keep the in-demand Serbian at the club, as teams from China were eager to pick up the forward. According to media reports, the Dikefalos tou Vorra will only be willing to listen to offers of around 10 million.