Olympiacos in flurry of activity during international break
Despite the break for EURO 2020 qualifiers, there has been a flurry of news at club level for Olympiacos this week.
Despite the international break, things appear to be moving at a fast pace for Olympiacos at club level. In recent days, the Piraeus side have been engaged in a flurry of activity from contract renewals to new coaching changes as well as injury updates. Below is a rundown of recent news involving the club.
Banking on youth
Olympiacos are reportedly ready to offer first-team contracts to a group of players who have impressed within the club’s youth ranks. According to sports newspaper Kokkinos Protathlitis, four youngsters are set to be signed to professional deals with the Erythrolefki. They are center-back Giorgos Xenitidis (20 years old), forward Alexandros Voilis (19), highly-rated midfielder Vasilis Sourlis (17), and Albanian youth international Emiliano Boulari (18).
The rumor mill has also spun into overdrive with Olympiacos’ pursuit of young Cypriot star Ioannis Kosti. The Nea Salamina midfielder is reportedly set to travel to Greece in the near future to sign a deal with the Greek giants. Kosti is one of the biggest talents in the Cypriot game and has already made five appearances for the senior Cypriot national team during the EURO 2020 qualifiers.
It has emerged that former Greek national team and Olympiacos goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis is the firm favorite to take over the Olympiacos U19 side. The legendary keeper is said to be the man tabbed to tsucceed Ricardo Peres, the Portuguese coach who was relieved of his duties earlier this week after a run of poor results.
While Nikopolidis appears to be the frontrunner, reports suggest the club is also looking abroad for candidates. 38-year-old Serbian coach Milan Ristic is reportedly in the frame after the two sides met this week.
Lazaros comeback near
Olympiacos attacker Lazaros Christodoulopoulos is set to mark his return to the pitch after a prolonged absence. The 32-year-old tore his ACL last February in a derby versus former club AEK. After a full rehabilitation, ‘Lazaros’ achieved the green light to play until a recent muscle strain has sidelined him again. The hope from all at the club is that within the next two weeks, the Greek international will be available for selection. Ironically, the target date for the player’s return is now the clash against AEK in late October.