American striker Aaron Schoenfeld is set to finally become a Maccabi Tel Aviv player ahead of the close of the winter transfer window tonight..
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
Israeli soccer’s winter transfer window is set for one final action-packed day on Thursday as teams look to make the most of their last opportunity to strengthen their squads.
The transfer window in Europe’s big leagues already came to a close on Tuesday night, but Israeli clubs have until Thursday night to secure signings, which for many teams will complete a hectic week and month of deal making.
Maccabi Tel Aviv has been one of the busier teams, with players both coming and going.
Maccabi already added three players last week, including 21-year-old Brazlian defender Ramon Menezes Roma and his 22-year-old countryman Marcelo Machado dos Santos.
More significantly, it also brought old captain Sheran Yeini back to the club, with the 30-year-old returning to the only team he has ever played for in Israel after leaving for Vitesse in Holland in the summer of 2015.
Maccabi parted ways with two veterans on Tuesday, reaching an agreement with Turkish club Rizespor for Nosa Igiebor’s sale for 500,000 euro and selling Bosnian Haris Medunjanin to Philadelphia Union of the MLS.
“I am happy for the deal he received which is good both for Nosa and the club especially as his contract at Maccabi runs out in four-months-time,” said Maccabi’s sports director and interim coach Jordi Cruyff about Igiebor, who joined Maccabi in July 2014 from Real Betis.
The 31-year-old Medunjanin joined Maccabi for the second time in his career just last January. “I am very happy I came back to Maccabi and obviously would have been happier to have won titles,” said the Bosnian.
Another player who looks set to join Maccabi before the close of the window is Hapoel Tel Aviv’s American striker Aaron Schoenfeld. The 26-yearold, who has long been rumored to be on his way to the yellow-and-blue, is expected to move in a deal worth nearly 800,000 euro.
Maccabi may complete at least one more signing on Thursday, but its best piece of business over the window could end up proving to be a transfer which never went through. Winger Tal Ben-Haim was close to moving to Club Brugge in Belgium on Tuesday, but the yellow-and-blue chose to reject an offer believed to be in the excess of 3.5 million euro, retaining the services of arguably its best player at least until the end of the season, when he can leave for 2.9 million euro according to a clause in his contract.
Maccabi is set to offer Ben-Haim a new contract which would include a significant salary raise, but also increase the sum of his buy-out clause.
Elsewhere Wednesday, Beitar Jerusalem signed French defender Antoine Conte. The 23-year-old joins on a loan deal from Reims. Conte found himself in hot water last month, being detained by French police, suspected of having gravely injured a young man in an incident in the north-eastern city. The 19-year-old victim suffered a brain hemorrhage. According to reports, Conte allegedly became violent towards his partner at his home and when she ran out into the street seeking help a male passer-by tried to intervene and was reportedly hit with a baseball bat.