No sign of new coach at AEK

AEK’s search for a new coach since the club’s sacking of Spaniard Lorenzo Serra Ferrer last weekend has yet to produce any clear results. The Athens team salvaged a 1-1 home draw against Spain’s Getafe Wednesday night in a Round of 32 first-leg tie after Argentinean striker Ismael Blanco equalized in the game’s final minute of injury time. Spanish midfielder Ruben de la Red had deservedly put his team ahead several minutes earlier, in the 86th minute. Panathinaikos, Greece’s other team in the UEFA Cup’s Round of 32, earned a scoreless draw at Glasgow Rangers after putting up a stubborn fight against the Scottish hosts, who were unable to score. Both AEK and Panathinaikos’s return legs are scheduled for February 21. At AEK, which has slipped from top spot to third in the Greek league following an inconsistent run in recent weeks, the search for a new coach appears to be focused abroad, most likely in Germany and Italy. The club’s board deems that its choices here are limited. The Italian sports press has named Gigi Cagni, until recently at the Serie A club Empoli, as a candidate for the job at AEK. Cagni, however, denied having had any contact with the Greek club. Ferrer and AEK are still locked in negotiations for the former AEK coach’s compensation fee. AEK had extended the 54-year-old Spaniard’s contract last May for an additional four years. It was due to expire at the end of this season.