SPORTS

Brazilian striker coming soon

Brazilian striker Adriano of Portuguese front-runner Porto appears set to join Panathinaikos – through to the UEFA Cup’s final 32 – on loan until the end of this season. Reports yesterday said the player was expected to travel to Athens today for an agreement with the Athens club until June. Several other clubs, including Braga, currently fourth in Portugal’s top division, and teams from Spain, have shown an interest in securing a temporary deal with Adriano, but the Brazilian has made Panathinaikos his top priority, his agent said. In other news at Panathinaikos, Croatian midfielder Igor Biscan has reportedly drawn the attention of German club Borussia Monchengladbach and Turkey’s Besiktas. Biscan, 28, who joined the Greek club from Liverpool in the summer of 2005, appears to have already rejected the Turkish team’s offer. The Croat is said to be interested in joining another club but, for the time being, seems content remaining at Panathinaikos until the summer, when his contract expires. The Croat is not a top-priority player for Panathinaikos’s Spanish coach Victor Munoz. The Greek league season, at the halfway mark, resumes this weekend following the festive season break with fourth-placed PAOK greeting AEK in Round 16’s main game on Saturday. Panathinaikos – currently third, eight points behind front-runner Olympiakos and a win behind second-placed AEK – hosts Aegaleo on Sunday. Olympiakos will be hosted by Xanthi in an encounter fueled by coach Takis Lemonis’s recent move to Olympiakos from Xanthi weeks after he had joined the ambitious provincial team. Lemonis, a former player and coach at Olympiakos, was brought back after the club fired Norwegian Trond Sollied last week for failing to take the Piraeus team’s domestic dominance to Europe. Sollied, who had eight months to go on his two-year contract, is one of over 40 coaches hired and fired by Olympiakos since 1980. In an article run by the Norwegian newspaper Dagsavisen yesterday, Sollied said he was denied first-choice players on the transfer market while adding that Olympiakos deputy Giorgos Louvaris was critical of his work. Sollied moved to Olympiakos from Brugge in Belgium, where the Norwegian spent six successful seasons after preceding success with Rosenborg in Norway.