SPORTS

Cisse about to return to Panathinaikos

Djibril Cisse is close to a return to Panathinaikos, at least for the latter part of this season, as he has reportedly informed the team’s board that he has agreed with his club in England, Queen’s Park Rangers to have him loaned out to the Greens. He is expected to arrive in Greece on Wednesday.

Panathinaikos was desperate to make a move that would change the negative climate after two managerial changes, elimination from Europe and a streak of poor performances and results in the league that have left it 24 points behind leader Olympiakos.

The return of the talismanic Frenchman would indeed be such a move, and although it had seemed impossible given the club’s financial troubles, it has emerged that the man who originally brought Cisse to Greece in 2009, then president Nikolas Pateras, has rallied his fellow shareholders at Panathinaikos to cover the expense of the move for the striker who led the club to a league and cup double in 2010.

Cisse reportedly spoke on Monday on the phone with the administration of the club and said that QPR has given its consent for him to come to Greece, given that coach Harry Redknapp was happy to offload him.

He will now land in Athens on Wednesday, undergo a medical and sign his contract until the end of the season. It is possible that he may even be in the squad for the Saturday game against Panthrakikos at home.

“It is possible that Cisse returns. I believe he will come to Panathinaikos even if there are some difficulties, that will be overcome,” Panathinaikos general manager Vassilis Constantinou told radio station NovaSpor FM on Monday.

The Greens are also chasing another former player, the former Greece defender Sotiris Kyrgiakos, who belongs to Wolfsburg but is looking for a new club. Although he is very expensive by Panathinaikos’s standards, the Greens will make an offer for an 18-month contract.

As for the last league game of the 17th round on Monday, Asteras Tripolis beat Kerkyra 1-0 on Corfu to stay alone in third.