Summer plans in progress at Panathinaikos
Summer plans progress at Panathinaikos as key players look set to sign new deals, despite Tasos Chatzigiovannis seemingly up for sale.
The summer to date has been busy for Nikos Dabizas, despite the lack of new signings. As expected, his first priority was renewing the contracts of players thought to be vital in the club’s future. The first is Dimitris Emmanouilidis. The young gun has been busy training hard all summer (as evidenced by his Instagram posts) and looks set to be rewarded with a new contract that will run until 2022. This is seen as a massive show of confidence from both ends as he is seen as a key player and he believes he can further develop his game at the club. The proposed new contract will be 40,000 euros, with individual and group bonuses also a possibility. According to recent reports, the two sides have agreed to a new deal.
On top of this, Emanuel Insua is tipped to remain a Panathinaikos player for a further three seasons. The left-back was one of the Greens’ best players last season and has emerged as a real leader. The inspirational Argentine is reportedly close to agreeing terms on a fresh 250,000 euro contract. His leadership has shone under Giorgos Donis and he looks set to be elevated into the leadership group, alongside Dimitris Kourbelis and Christos Donis.
Another key player from last season, Giannis Bouzoukis, looks set to reject bigger offers in order to stay at Panathinaikos and develop at the club as he sees it as the safest way forward for his career. The Trifylli’s offer was significantly under his expectations but he looks set to take it and stay. He is perhaps Panathinaikos’ biggest asset already.
Rookies Vangelis Theocharis and Fanis Mavromatis also are expected to commit their futures to the club as Panathinaikos have come to an agreement with both players for a new contract.
The Future of Chatzigiovannis
Young winger Tasos Chatzigiovannis looks set to be sold later this summer, after the two sides could not reach an agreement in relation to a new contract. He was instrumental to the Greens’ great start last season but faded as time progressed as inconsistency kicked in. The club saw him as a key player moving forward, but his agent was asking for a reported 200,000 euros per season deal. Something Panathinaikos cannot offer in times of austerity.
As a result, it appears almost certain the player will be sold this summer. Dabizas has agreed to it and he will depart should the right offer come in. The club is seeking at least 1.5 million euros, but with Dabizas’ negotiation tactics, believe a 1.8-2 million euro offer is possible. European clubs such as Standard Liege, AZ Alkmaar, and Heerenveen have previously been linked for the Mytilene-born winger.
Panathinaikos wanted to keep him for a further season at least but recent reports suggest the hard decision has been made as officials believe he may have already reached his ceiling in terms of market value. In any deal, the Trifylli will keep a resale fee.
Small Budget Hinders New Signings
According to reports from “Ethnospor,” Panathinaikos’ budget for the new season will be a miniscule 900,000 euros. This will be the most the club will give for new signings.
A budget of under one million euros is unthinkable for the club the size of Panathinaikos but this is what Dabizas has to work with, meaning his hands are virtually tied. In spite of this, he is seeking four new signings - a centre-back that is strong in the air and a natural leader, a pacey winger with good technique and an eye for goals and assists, a defensive midfielder that can cover ground, and a quality striker that scores goals. The criteria for new signings is clever from Dabizas’ end as all new faces would have to have played at least 70% of their football within the last three seasons and they will not be older than 30-31 years old.
New signings in the first three positions will be on deals of around 200,000 euros, with the striker tipped to be on around 600,000 euros. All new transfers will be on each of the lines - defenders, midfielders, forwards.
It is scary to think this club had a budget in excess of 20 million euros only a few summers ago but this is the sad reality. Moving forward, the club’s total budget will be eight million euros - this will also include all sections of the football department such as coaches and backroom staff. The aim is to increase this figure to 11-12 million euros for the 2020-21 season.
Panathinaikos’ social media pages have led in with the slogan “Save the Date” for the release of the new jerseys for the 2019-20 season. The new kits will be unveiled on the 9th of July, 2019 and for the first time in 25 years under Italian kit manufacturer Kappa, after a two-year deal with Nike ended.
In an interesting tweak, Kappa looks set to produce four shirts for Panathinaikos in order to mark their 25 anniversary with the club (the last time Kappa made Panathinaikos shirts). This will be a striped fourth kit.