SPORTS

Olympiakos woos Liverpool’s Leto

Olympiakos looks set to seal the loan transfer of Argentinean soccer player Sebastian Leto from Liverpool for a season. The 21-year-old winger, who has played for Liverpool in the Champions League and the League Cup but has yet to feature in the Premiership, has had work permit problems and has not played since December. This partly explains the decision by Liverpool coach Rafa Benitez to send him out on loan for a year. «Rafa wants me at Liverpool but without an EU passport, I can’t stay,» Leto told the Greek sports press. «I spoke with the people at the club [Liverpool] and our decision is to leave it and play somewhere else on loan for one season. I have to play soccer next season.» Leto holds an Italian passport which qualifies him for a work permit, but an investigation is being carried out by Italian authorities into the validity of a number of citizenship decisions, especially those from Argentina. Reports suggest that unless Leto gets a work permit for Britain by July 31, he will join Olympiakos on August 1. «My agents are in Athens. They are talking to Olympiakos about my loan. Their manager, Ernesto Valverde, called me. He told me that he is really interested in having me on his team. He told me of his thoughts and everything. For me, it’s really important to have a manager who speaks my language.» «I spoke with some friends who know everything about Olympia-kos and they told me that this is the biggest club in Greece, that they always win the championship and they always play Champions League soccer. I have some offers from Italy and Spain but Olym-piakos is the best club for me at the moment.» Leto insisted he had been assured he has a future at Liverpool by Benitez, and he is now hoping his passport issue can be resolved in time for a move to Greece.