SPORTS

Changes at Panathinaikos

With a round of play remaining in the soccer Super League, the administration at Panathinaikos, embittered by yet another season without merit, is already making moves for major roster changes in the coming days and weeks. The Athens club, latest reports contend, is close to closing a deal with Portuguese coach Jose Peseiro, the former Sporting Lisbon boss who led the club to the UEFA Cup final in 2005. Portuguese reports rated the possibility of a deal between the 47-year-old Peseiro and Panathinaikos as 95 percent certain. In his latest comments, however, Peseiro declined to specify his plans for the upcoming season. «I’ll discuss my future on June 1,» Peseiro noted. «It’s definite that I’ll be working abroad… I’m being asked many questions about Greece, but I repeat, I’m not going to name either club or country,» he continued. Spaniard Victor Munoz, who took over at Panathinaikos early this season, is not expected to continue working with the Greek club in the new season. His contract expires at the end of this month. Panathinaikos has had to settle for third place in the Super League after falling well behind in the race for second spot that guarantees a place in the Champions League’s pre-group qualifiers. That berth goes to AEK, now nine points ahead of Panathinaikos. Moreover, the club lost to provincial Larissa in last weekend’s cup final. Besides the club’s coaching switch, Panathinaikos is expected to part ways with several current roster members. Players named in local reports so far include Ricardo Souza Bovio, Victor Sanchez, Mikael Antonsson and Igor Biscan. Meanwhile, mid-table Atromitos announced yesterday that it had signed a three-year deal with Guillermo Hoyos. The Argentinean had previously worked with Thessaloniki club Aris until midway through the current season. In the latest developments at AEK, the Athens club’s Spanish coach Lorenzo Serra Ferrer is reportedly interested in acquiring Deportivo La Coruna’s Argentinean defender Aldo Pedro Duscher. Last week, AEK signed another Argentinean defender, Rodolfo Arruabarrena, from Spain’s Villarreal. AEK also confirmed its split with Italian defender Bruno Cirillo, who is likely to join Portugal’s Benfica. The club is led by former AEK coach Fernando Santos.