Struggling Soldano predicted to stay, Sa uncertainty continues
When signing Argentinian forward Franco Soldano in the winter, Olympiacos had high expectations, however the 24-year-old has struggled to make an impact.
It hasn’t gone to plan for Soldano. In January, the promising Argentinian striker made his maiden European transfer when leaving Union de Santa Fe for Olympiacos, but he is yet to settle in Piraeus. So far, Soldano has played in a grand total of 188 minutes across five Super League matches, starting the two games against Xanthi and Lamia without showing his true potential.
The one solid appearance was in the Greek Cup. In the first leg of the quarter-final against Lamia, Soldano contributed with one goal and two assists, helping Olympiacos tally a 3:3 draw on the road. He started the return game at the Karaiskakis Stadium, but just like his teammates, he didn’t impress as Olympiacos suffered a shock 0:1 defeat to exit the competition.
Nevertheless, despite his problems adapting to the European game, Olympiacos and Pedro Martins are eager to give Soldano more time to improve. Martins is fully satisfied with Soldano’s efforts and wants to keep the forward in his squad for the 2019/2020 campaign. A full pre-season in the summer should help Soldano get used to Olympiacos’ style of game.
Having started out at Union Sunchales, Soldano transferred to Union de Santa Fe in 2014, before making the jump to Greece this year. Transfermarkt values his worth at 4.5 million euros.
FORTOUNIS CONTRACT RENEWAL
Star midfielder Kostas Fortounis is expected to renew his Olympiacos contract after the final Super League match of the season against AEL.
As previously reported on AGONAsport, both Olympiacos and Fortounis want to extend their cooperation, with the latter’s contract currently set to expire in the summer of 2020. Fortounis has attracted attention from French and Turkish clubs, but the 26-year-old Greek international is keen on remaining on the Erythrolefki’s books.
Fortounis is predicted to extend his Olympiacos contract through to 2023 with his yearly wage to be increased to 1.3 million. If Olympiacos receive bids for Fortounis exceeding 12 million, the Piraeus organisation will be willing to enter negotiations, but the management is focused on retaining their star asset.
This season, Fortounis has been in superb form with Olympiacos, flourishing under the leadership of Martins to tally a large 17 goals and 16 assists in 42 games.
SA UNCERTAINTY, MARAFONA LINK
Ever since becoming the main Olympiacos goalkeeper, Jose Sa has been a shining light for the Erythrolefki, rarely making any mistakes.
In the summer, Sa is due to return to parent club FC Porto, but Olympiacos are hoping to make his stay in Greece permanent. However, while no agreement has been signed with Porto, Sa’s future remains uncertain and Spanish outfit Real Betis have expressed interest in the 26-year-old. Betis were particularly impressed by Sa’s showing against them in the UEFA Europa League group stage.
Olympiacos are ready to activate his release clause which reportedly amounts to 2.5 million, but if Betis offer a larger sum of money, Porto will accept that instead. The Thrylos are also yet to reach an agreement with Sa concerning his wages.
In the event that the Sa transfer falls through, Olympiacos are supposedly eyeing up 31-year-old Jose Marafona, who plays his football with SC Braga in the Liga NOS. Marafona will be available on a free transfer after his Braga contract expires in June.
During the 2018/2019 season, Marafona hasn’t played in a single league match for Braga, only competing in six Portuguese Cup matches. He has spent his entire career in Portugal.