Conceicao, Biscan seal deals

Brazilian midfielder Flavio Conceicao has signed for Panathinaikos, the Greek club’s website reported yesterday. Confirmation of the deal came after some six weeks of negotiations. The 31-year-old, who moves from Turkish side Galatasaray, was expected in Athens last month to complete the deal but failed to show up. Conceicao has 47 caps and won the Champions League with Real Madrid in 2002. Panathinaikos also announced the signing of Liverpool’s Croatian international Igor Biscan. The 27-year-old midfielder was out of contract with the European champions. Panathinaikos did not release further details of the contracts for the two players. Archrival Olympiakos yesterday announced that it had signed Belgian international goalkeeper Erwin Lemmens on a two-year contract. No financial details of the deal were revealed by the club, but there is an option for an additional season if both sides agree. The twice-capped 29-year-old goalkeeper played for Spanish championship side Espanyol for the past two years and before that for their rivals Racing Santander, between 1999 and 2003, and Belgian outfit Beveren, between 1995-1999. «I wanted very much to play for Olympiakos,» said Lemmens. «To leave Spain was not easy after playing there for the last six years, but I believe I made the right move as Olympiakos plans to be a major player in Europe and it is an honor to play for them,» he added. Australian striker John Aloisi, whose negotiations with Panathinaikos broke down earlier this month over a knee injury, has joined newly promoted Spanish club Alaves. He had his first training session with the Primera Liga team over the weekend, Spanish sports daily Marca said on its website. The 29-year-old, available on a free transfer from Osasuna, was close to signing a three-year deal at Panathinaikos just weeks ago, but problems with a knee injury prompted the Greek side to offer him a shorter contract, which he turned down. Aloisi, who scored four goals for Australia in last month’s Confederations Cup, joined Osasuna from English club Coventry City in 2001 and scored 28 league goals in four seasons with the Navarran side. Alaves, owned by Ukrainian-born American businessman Dimitry Piterman, have returned to the top flight for next season after two years in the second division. (Reuters, AFP)

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