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Striker Shlomi Arbeitman will remain with Hapoel Petah Tikva despite talk of negotiations for the player's transfer to Maccabi Tel Aviv. Following an approach from Maccabi's technical director, Eli Dricks, Petah Tikva president Meir Shamir held consultations and decided not to strike a deal with the Tel Aviv club.

"Hapoel Petah never intended to release Shlomi Arbeitman," Petah Tikva chairman Lior Shahar said yesterday, while another Petah Tikva source added: "Arbeitman will only leave Hapoel Petah Tikva for Europe."

Others at the club had another explanation.

"A year ago, Dricks and Shamir agreed on the transfer of Eli Biton to Hapoel Petah Tikva in return for Shlomi Edri," a source at the club said. "But Maccabi Tel Aviv, without any shame, backed out, and didn't even apologize. Now, they see exactly how it feels when the shoe is on the other foot. Even if Ishmael Edo and another three Maccabi players would have been offered in this deal, Arbeitman wouldn't have been released."