PAOK searching for reinforcements ahead of Champions League
Ahead of the upcoming UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, PAOK are continuing to tweak the squad and search for reinforcements. AGONAsport takes a closer look.
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Having already completed the maiden training camp, the Dikefalos recently returned to the Netherlands for the second stage of pre-season preparations, taking on KAA Gent in a friendly match on Thursday. New signing Leo Jaba struck gold in the first half, however Gent equalised later on to hold PAOK to a 1:1 draw.
Following the 2:1 friendly victory over Steaua Bucharest on Monday, manager Răzvan Lucescu made it clear that the club will be doing all they can to sign a new left sided defender. At the moment, PAOK seem to be most interested in Serbian left-back Ivan Obradovic, who currently plays at Anderlecht. In three years with Anderlecht in Belgium, the 29-year old Obradovic has participated in 79 Jupiler League matches, scoring two goals and registering nine assists. On Transfermarkt, his value is rated at two million euros.
As to speed up the transfer process, sporting director Lubos Michel and Giorgos Savvidis, son of PAOK owner Ivan, have remained in Thessaloniki and are busy trying to seal deals with time running out before the Champions League begins in two weeks’ time.
In good news for PAOK, last year’s Super League top scorer Aleksandar Prijovic has joined teammates in the Netherlands to start his pre-season after representing Serbia at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Lucescu and his coaching staff are confident that Prijovic will be 100% ready for both legs against FC Basel.
Last week, young striker Efthymis Koulouris was offloaded to Atromitos Athens on loan, meaning the Thessaloniki outfit are on the lookout for a new striker to give Prijovic competition. According to various rumours in the media, boss Lucescu is eager to sign fellow Romanian Claudiu Keseru from Ludogorets in Bulgaria. It’s worth keeping in mind that PAOK must declare their squad for the Champions League third qualifying round to UEFA on July 19.