Cuypers refuses to play for AEK after fee agreed with Ergotelis
Not long ago, it seemed certain that Ergotelis forward Hugo Cuypers was on his way to AEK, but the transfer has dramatically fallen through in the past two days.
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The 21-year old Belgian striker, who scored an impressive 22 goals in 28 Football League matches for Ergotelis in the 2017/2018 season, attracted the attention of newly crowned Greek champions AEK Athens. Yesterday, reports appeared in the Greek media suggesting the two clubs had agreed on a transfer fee of 300,000 euros, but immediately after the news broke, Cuypers gave a statement to the Belgian press which ruled out any transfer to AEK:
“I am not moving to AEK. The AEK proposal displays a lack of respect to me, my father and my agent, Jacques Lichtenstein. I don’t mind spending another year at Ergotelis, but the transfer window is only just beginning.”
Lichtenstein, Cuypers’ agent, held a conversation with gazzetta.gr on Monday, revealing more information about the disagreement with AEK’s management: “Cuypers does not want to play at AEK, he has a bad feeling just like me,” stated Lichtenstein. “AEK gave us a ridiculous proposal. They claim to have made an agreement with Cuypers, but what is the meaning of this deal? It is rubbish and has no value.
I respect Ergotelis, but Cuypers not moving to AEK isn’t the end of the world. For the first time in my career, I have come under such intense pressure to get a transfer over the line. One cannot force Ergotelis to play for AEK if he doesn’t want to. The reasons? They are moral, not economic. Whatever money AEK offers, the issue is closed. Cuypers’ father stated he wouldn’t speak to his son again if he moved to AEK!”
Later in the interview, Lichtenstein touched upon the subject of Cuypers’ next destination and where he will end up: “I can tell you that next season, Cuypers will play either in Greece or Belgium. Seven Greek teams have shown interest in him.”
Ergotelis also published a press-release connected with the issue: “We would like to point out that our football club helped Hugo Cuypers to display his talent. While we cannot ask those who do not know our history, or even our colours, to respect us, we call on the player himself to realise that these stories about him which some people are making will only have a negative effect.”