Last summer, the management of Maccabi Haifa explored the possibility of signing midfielder Neta Lavi to a long-term contract.
It didn't happen the first time.
Even when he was injured at the beginning of last season, the desire was to open the contract, but the player for his part chose to wait for an offer from abroad and entered a contract year. On January 1, according to UEFA rules, he will become a free agent, but it was clear that after a great campaign in the Champions League The offers will arrive before then.
American San Jose and Japan's Gamba Osaka submitted bids.
The offer of the Japanese stands at 4.5 million dollars for the entire period of the contract, and these amounts are very difficult to compete with in Israeli football.
Now, in fact, the ball is again in the hands of Maccabi Haifa, but the consideration is different.
One option is to prevent Lavie from crossing Japan and lose him for free in the summer;
On the other hand, he can be sold for some compensation in January, and lose the captain and one of the most important players in the squad immediately.
Those around Lavia said that he "feels that it is the right time for him to embark on a new challenge abroad." He also said similar things in his conversations with the club's president Yaakov Shahar. The latter respected his captain's request. A word". The reference is to his promise to Lavi about two years ago, that he would allow him to leave if an offer came for him in the future. This promise came after Lavi received an offer from CSKA Moscow and Shahar rejected it outright due to the fact that the club was in the middle of a championship fight, which they eventually won after decade.
Since then there have been no more tempting offers, and the 26-year-old captain, who played his entire career in Maccabi Haifa, remains at the club of his youth.
Now Shahar will have to decide whether he releases Neta Lavi now or waits for the summer.
Another possibility is to submit an offer that has not been given to any other player in the past, in amounts that the Greens do not usually pay.
The point is that if these sums are not paid to Levi, they will go to another outside player.
The names that are on the agenda are Aden Kartsev from Maccabi Netanya and Goni Naor from Hapoel Jerusalem.
Biram Kiel of Bnei Sakhnin is also an option, if and when Levi leaves.
Will he keep his promise?, Photo: Alan Shiver
Bacher: "The staff is strong enough"
"Not everything depends on the club," said sources privy to the details, "there is also the player's side here, and you have to respect him. Every kid who plays soccer has dreams, and it's natural that he would want to fulfill them. Even on an economic level, there is a lot of money here."
The team's coach, Barak Becher, commented on the situation and said: "Everyone knows that there is an offer, but it is Netta's decision. Obviously, as a coach, I want him to stay, because he is a very important player, but a player also has his own wishes and must know how to respect them. I hope that he will stay, but even if not, there will be other players who will be in his place."
Bacher also added: "Every season there are players who are missing. If Neta leaves, we'll get along, we'll find alternatives. Neta is a significant and important player, but there's no point in messing with it. At the moment, nothing is closed. As far as foreigners are concerned, we're closed, it's a question for Israelis and there aren't too many options Our squad is strong enough to go all the way. Maybe there will be one change or another, but there won't be a revolution."
Bacher, photo: Alan Shiver
The interesting thing about Lavi's story is that at the Carmel club they understand that more players will soon receive offers.
All the others currently have a contract, and after locking up Shawn Goldberg, Omar Atzili and Charon Sherry, an attempt will be made to sign new contracts with Dulev Haziza, Pierre Corneau, Mohammed Abu Fani, Ali Mohammed and others, mainly to prevent similar cases in the future where players can leave Without the club having anything to do about it.
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