Racing Santander is set to offer its Israeli goalkeeper, Dudu Awat, a new contract through to 2010, club president Jose Manuel Huerta told Haaretz yesterday.
"I plan to offer Dudu a three-year contract extension," Huerta said. "I intend to do so before the end of the season, and I intend to offer him terms that will keep him at Santander.
"Dudu is an excellent goalkeeper, one of the best in the Spanish league and without a doubt a 'keeper of international caliber," Huerta added.
Awat's current contract only expires at the end of next season, but the player has been in outstanding form and has attracted the attention of other clubs, with reports yesterday in the Israeli press linking him with a move to Valencia. Awat saved a penalty against Valencia in his club's 2-1 league win on Saturday.
Huerta vigorously denied the reports saying that Valencia still owed Santander 1.6 million euros from the transfer of striker Mario Reguero last season and that he had no intention of doing further business with the club until it settled its debt.
However, the Santander president was willing to say that if an offer came on the right terms, he would have to consider it. "I don't want Dudu to go, but in football you never know. If anyone wants Awat, they will have to put 4.5 million euros on the table, and I can tell you they will have to offer him excellent personal terms as well. He won't leave Santander easily."