Rosso Seen Staying With Maccabi Haifa

With only two days to go until the transfer deadline in Greece, Maccabi Haifa midfielder Giovanni Rosso finally admitted that he would not be following Yitzhak Shum to Panathinaikos.

Shum arrived in Israel yesterday on what he described as a personal visit and said that he would not be dealing with Rosso's transfer to Greece.

Maccabi Haifa yesterday declined to rule out the possibility that Panathinaikos would make an offer for the Croatian midfielder, but with only 48 hours until the transfer deadline, it looks increasingly unlikely.

Rosso, meanwhile, was in hot water with Haifa after saying in an interview on the Sports Channel on Monday that he felt as if he were in prison and that he was bored because Haifa is not as good a team as it used to be. Rosso was also uncomplimentary about coach Ronni Levi, who replaced Shum after the latter left to manage the Greek club.

Yesterday, after realizing that his chances of a move to Panathinaikos were slim, Rosso engaged in damage control. "I'm staying with Maccabi Haifa and I probably won't be moving to Panathinaikos. I know the things I've said recently haven't sounded good, but that wasn't my intention. It's true that I said we aren't as good a team as we used to be, but that's only natural, because several players have left us. I don't have anything against the manager. I just said that he's still at the begining of his path. I'm okay with him and I'll give him all the credit in the world. I said I feel like in a prison, but I was talking about the training camp and didn't mean that the atmosphere here was like in a prison."

Rosso strained a muscle yesterday and missed the club's friendly against Dutch side Den Bosch, which ended in a goalless draw.