Tamuz changes mind, remains with Reds

Hapoel Tel Aviv striker turns down lucrative offer from AS Monaco; transfer window closes.

Toto Tamuz 311 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Toto Tamuz 311
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Toto Tamuz will remain a Hapoel Tel Aviv player until the end of the season after making a dramatic U-turn in the final day of the January transfer window on Tuesday by turning down a lucrative offer from AS Monaco after already undergoing a medical at the club.
The 23-year-old striker, who led the Premier League with 21 goals last season and has already scored 13 this term, had initially agreed to join Monaco on a long-term deal believed to be worth in the region of 800,000 euros a season.
He flew out to France on Monday morning to complete his move to the Ligue 2 club purchased last month by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, but after further negotiations on Tuesday decided to remain with Hapoel for the time being.
Tamuz, who had his value set last week at 1.5 million euros by an arbitrator, was unhappy with Monaco’s refusal to include a relatively low buy-out clause in his contract.
He was also far from pleased to be offered a significantly lower salary in France compared to what he was promised when meeting club representatives in Israel.
“I decided to make a professional choice rather than a financial one,” Tamuz said. “I think it would be better to move in an orderly fashion in the summer and to have a proper pre-season with my new team, which I hope will be in a top league. I’m committed to Hapoel Tel Aviv and appreciate everything it has done to further my career. I still have plenty of targets to fulfill until the end of the season.”
In other transfer news, Betar Jerusalem added Eran Levy, Haim Megrelashvili and Nigerian Harmony Ikande to its squad on Tuesday.
Levy was released by Hapoel Haifa last week after once more clashing with a coach, while left-back Megrelashvili joined on-loan from Maccabi Haifa.
Also Tuesday, Palestinian club Jabel Mukaber had its appeal to prevent Ali Khatib from playing for Hapoel Haifa turned down by the Tel Aviv District Court.
Jabel Mukaber claimed that Khatib was under contract at the club when he signed for Haifa last week and vowed to turn to FIFA after the court deemed otherwise.
Elsewhere, Eyal Lachman held his first training session as Hapoel Rishon Lezion coach on Tuesday, replacing the sacked Nisan Yehezkel.
Lachman began the season at National League club Hapoel Ra’anana, but resigned in September and quit as Maccabi Petah Tikva coach earlier this month after just three months at the helm.