SPORTS

Panathinaikos will sign Govou

Soccer champion Panathinaikos is close to signing two major names in the European game, France international striker Sidney Govou and Brazilian defender Marcelo Bordon. Former Lyon star Govou arrived in Greece on Saturday and is about to sign a two-year contract today with the Greens that will fetch him 1.5 million euros a year as well as a 1-million-euro transfer bonus. He is a free agent, as his contract with the French club expired last week. Yesterday he passed his medical test and today he is set to take part in the first official training session with Panathinaikos for the new season. «I am very happy to be here and I intend to give it all for Panathinaikos,» said Govou upon his arrival at Athens International Airport, surrounded by some 250 ecstatic fans of his new club. Asked what it was that convinced him to come to Greece, Govou answered: «It was [France and Panathinaikos striker] Djibril Cisse as well as the club’s officials, who explained to me the team’s targets and persuaded me that they were high enough. I have also found out about life in Greece and the Greek league and I believe that what I have heard is enough for me.» Schalke central defender Bordon may well join Govou in the coming days, as he has reportedly agreed to terms with Panathinaikos but his club will also need to be compensated. He made it clear that his agent will have to first speak with Schalke before the deal is complete and he can fly to Athens to sign a contract. «Both Panathinaikos and Greece are ideal options for me and my family,» said the Brazilian to a Greek sports website yesterday.