SPORTS

Olympiakos in the transfer market to sign new strikers

Olympiakos may have extended its lead at the top of soccer’s Super League last weekend but the club is facing a striker crisis after the departure of Darko Kovacevic on Sunday. Yesterday club officials began an urgent search for one or two strikers who can fill the gap that had already been identified last summer, before the Reds were deprived of the services of their Serb scorer. Kovacevic left Greece on Sunday as his heart problem has forced him to undergo surgery in Spain. This is likely to signal the end of the 35-year-old player’s career, leaving Olympiakos with just two out-and-out strikers: Brazilian Diogo and Greek under-21 international Costas Mitroglou. The latter has an injury problem and will miss the next league game against Panserraikos in Serres on Saturday. Olympiakos is neither willing nor able to spend a large amount of money on new strikers. It will therefore go after players who are relatively cheap on the market or are free agents or who can be acquired on loan, as could be the case with Greece international Angelos Charisteas, who plays for German side Nuremberg. Reports abroad linked Olympiakos with Swedish club Malmo’s Ola Toivonen, but it is unlikely Olympiakos can afford to splash out the 4 million euros required to buy the Swedish striker of Finnish origin. The idea is to locate one or two strikers who hold an EU passport and are eligible to play for Olympiakos in the UEFA Cup as well.