By ALLON SINAI
The Toto Tamuz transfer saga finally ended on Wednesday night, when the striker signed a three-year deal at Hapoel Tel Aviv.The 22-year-old joins from Betar Jerusalem, where he played since 2006, and will be able to take part in Hapoel’s Champions League campaign, putting pen to paper just hours before the UEFA deadline.“I’m very happy to be joining Hapoel,” said Tamuz, who moved for a transfer fee of $350,000, with Betar to also receive 20 percent of any future sale.“I think that Eli Gutman and the superb atmosphere at the club can help my career and I’m certain we will achieve success this season.”Tel Aviv had been chasing Tamuz’s signature since it advanced to the group stage of European soccer’s most prestigious competition last week, but the striker proved to be an elusive target.Tamuz twice agreed to join the reigning Premier League champion in the last couple of days, only to change his mind and announce that he wanted to stay with Betar.However, on Wednesday he finally officially joined the Reds and will bolster Gutman’s limited strike force, joining Itai Shechter, Ben Sahar and the young Victor Mare.AdvertisementTamuz is Hapoel’s second signing in as many days, with midfielder Salim Toama joining the side on Tuesday.The 31-year-old Toama began his career at Hapoel and returns to the club after spending three seasons in Europe, two at Standard Liege of Belgium and one at Larissa of Greece.“I’m happy to be back,” said Toama, who signed a two-year contract.“I wanted to return to Hapoel regardless of the Champions League and I’m here to help the club. I want to prove that I can still play.”Also Tuesday, Gal Alberman completed his move to Maccabi Tel Aviv from Borussia Monchengladbach and Pini Balili joined Bnei Yehuda.Alberman signed for Maccabi after playing just 16 league matches for the German club in two seasons, due in large part to injuries, with Balili returning to Israel after seven years in the Turkish league.
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