SPORTS

Clubs locked in battle for Katsouranis deal

Given the various press reports of recent days, the respected European clubs Benfica of Portugal and Germany’s Borussia Munchengladbach may both appear certain of having secured Greek international Costas Katsouranis for the coming season, but latest reports indicate that the player’s club, AEK, has yet to decide on the matter. Until late yesterday, the Athens club’s reported demand of no less than 2.5 million euros for Katsouranis’s acquisition, had not been met by either of the two interested clubs. German and Portuguese media have run stories claiming that the 26-year-old midfielder’s transfer, on four-year contracts, to Benfica and Borussia Munchengladbach, could be considered certain. Neither club, however, is believed to have offered over 2 million euros for Katsouranis’s transfer. Whether the Greek player moves to either club or not, the case could be expected to close within the week, sources said. Just weeks ago, Benfica hired Portuguese coach Fernando Santos, who led AEK in the previous two seasons, with Katsouranis, the team’s captain, as a key member of the team. Katsouranis was also a fundamental contributor to Greece’s Euro 2004 triumph in Portugal.