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Fenerbahce could make a move for Istanbulspor, and former Hapoel Tel Aviv, striker Pini Balili if it fails to find a European or Brazilian striker during the winter break.

Fenerbahce recently has lost some of its goal-scoring touch, and German coach Christoph Daum reportedly told club chairman Aziz Yilidrim that he is "interested in a striker like Balili."

"Fenerbahce could make Balili and Istanbulspor an offer over the winter break," Asat Yilimir, sports editor of the Turkish daily Hurriyet, said yesterday. "Istanbulspor's financial situation means that it needs to sell players to the highest bidder, and Balili is a suitable asset to fill the club's empty coffers. For the moment, there have been no formal talks between the sides, but Yilidrim can be expected to approach Istanbulspor President Adnan Sazgin, with whom he has a close personal relationship, during the winter break. On condition, of course, that he gets the red light from Daum."

Yilimir said that Istanbulspor will demand some $3-4 million for a "player of Balili's stature," an amount that Fenerbahce should have no trouble paying. The club is considered one of Europe's wealthiest, with an annual operating budget of $65 million in addition to a $40-million payroll.