Soccer / Hapoel TA Deal With Kfir Udi Stuck

Striker agrees terms with former team, but new club's boss says deal unlikely

Hapoel Tel Aviv agreed terms with striker Kfir Udi yesterday on a return to the club from loan with Maccabi Petah Tikva, but by the evening the deal was looking doubtful and Petah Tikva chairman Avi Luzon said Udi was not going anywhere.

Udi joined Petah Tikva on a one-year loan at the beginning of the season, but has failed to find a regular place in the squad, while Hapoel, rooted firmly to the bottom of the Premier League table, is desperate for fire power up front.

Hapoel's general manager Guy Amousi had held talks with Luzon overnight Wednesday and the two had agreed that Hapoel would pay Petah Tikva $20,000 to get the striker back immediately.

When Udi arrived at Petah Tikva's training ground yesterday morning he was instructed to meet with Hapoel to agree personal terms. Hapoel wanted to conclude the deal ahead of today's Premier League encounter with Upper Nazareth.

Udi and Hapoel had reportedly agreed on terms, but then missed the 2 P.M. deadline to register for today's game. However, later in the day Luzon issued a statement that Udi had not agreed to terms with Hapoel and would resume training with Petah Tikva today.

Hapoel also failed to complete the signings yesterday of Belarusan striker Raoman Vasilok and Colombian midfielder Carlos Sevillias.

Meanwhile, Hapoel's crosstown rival Maccabi is also looking to strengthen its ranks; coach Nir Klinger yesterday invited Romanian striker Daniel Costaco for trials with the club. Costaco, who has scored 60 goals in the past six seasons in the Romanian league, was expected to arrive in Israel overnight. If the Romanian is signed, Klinger intends to release Ghanaian striker Ishamel Addo.

Senegalese midfielder Makthar N'Diaye who is on trial with Maccabi from French club Rennes didn't train yesterday after being injured in a 4-1 loss to Maccabi Haifa in the Toto Cup earlier this week.

Klinger's plans to make new signings could be thwarted by club chairman Loni Herzikovic, who has reportedly said that there is no point in spending when Maccabi Haifa has already secured the Premier League title.