Tsartas agrees to return to AEK after pay is guaranteed

The pieces are falling back into place again at soccer club AEK after two star players, both internationals, sued to end their contracts over unpaid salaries and friction with the club’s ex-strongman Makis Psomiadis. Midfielder Vassilis Tsartas agreed to return to the club yesterday after discussing his future with AEK officials, as well as with Panathinaikos President Angelos Philippidis, for a possible transfer. New AEK President Yiannis Granitsas promised Tsartas his contract, which runs out in summer, will be fully paid out by then. Tsartas had recently distanced himself from AEK after the cash-strapped club informed him that it was unable to honor his contract. However, soon after walking out, Tsartas said he would consider a return if Psomiadis, a minority shareholder, ceased to be involved in the club’s affairs. Psomiadis did so last week after another key player, Demis Nikolaidis, sued him for abuse following a bizarre late-night incident at the player’s home. Nikolaidis has since resumed playing with AEK. Tsartas, who last played an official game on December 1 and stopped training with AEK on December 17, will begin a special training program today to regain full fitness.

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