Arafat Djako (Sharon Bukov)
Hapoel Acre striker Arafat Djako Photo by Sharon Bukov
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With the January transfer window approaching, one of the most intriguing names that has emerged in the Israeli Premier League is Hapoel Acre striker Arafat Djako.

The Togolese international has been one of the most pleasant surprises for Acre, a team that surprisingly finds itself in fifth place after 14 matches. He has been a major contributor to the cause, scoring 10 of Acre's 28 goals.

According to a report on Thursday on the Hebrew language news portal Walla!, Djako would be amenable to switch teams if Maccabi Haifa came calling.

"Personally, I have not received any telephone calls from anybody," he told Walla!. "Usually I hear things all the time from my friends and my agent about teams that are interested in me. There are teams that want me and have inquired about me. If Maccabi Haifa steps up and says that it wants Arafat, then obviously I will want to go there. It's a huge club in Israel, and I hope that Acre will let me go there."

"If they don't let me, I will ask for special permission, because there are offers that you have to jump on when you're playing well," he said. "Who knows what will be at the end of the year? In soccer, things change quickly."

Latvian star Sernas not Haifa-bound

Darvydas Sernas, the forward who is currently playing for Polish side Widzew Lodz, said on Thursday that he has no plans to relocate to Israel and play for Maccabi Haifa.

"I don't want to go to Haifa," he told associates. "I am interested in going to one of the larger leagues in Europe."

Haifa officials are hard at work in drawing up a list of players with expiring contracts this summer. Among those are two of Haifa's own, Eyal Meshumar and John Culma.