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Haim heading to Maccabi

Published: Tuesday 14 December 2004, 23.31CET
News round-up: Ophir Haim is leaving Istanbulspor AS to return home and join Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC.

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Published: Tuesday 14 December 2004, 23.31CET

Haim heading to Maccabi

News round-up: Ophir Haim is leaving Istanbulspor AS to return home and join Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC.

Ophir Haim has returned to Turkey to secure his release from Istanbulspor AS after agreeing an 18-month contract with Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC. The Israeli striker, 29, was the leading scorer in his homeland last season during his time with Hapoel Beer-Sheva FC. "I'm delighted to be back home and I can't wait to wear Maccabi's famous yellow strip," said Haim, a boyhood Maccabi supporter. Maccabi will pay Beer-Sheva €37,600 to buy out their option to re-sign the player from Istanbulspor.

Canadian defender Marco Reda, 27, has left Norwegian side Sogndal IL on a free transfer for Danish Superliga club Aalborg BK, signing a one-year contract with an option for two further years. "By signing Marco we've plugged the hole in our central defence," said AaB sports director Lyge Jacobsen.

Hannover 96 striker Clint Mathis is to return to the United States after only a year in the Bundesliga. The 28-year-old joined from the New Jersey-based MetroStars in January and made an impressive start, scoring four goals in February, but he has since failed to secure a regular starting place and has played just four times this season.

Another Bundesliga side, DSC Arminia Bielefeld, have released striker Marijo Maric. The Croatian was signed from FC Kärnten for €150,000 in the summer but made just five substitute appearances. The 27-year-old has agreed a move to second division Eintracht Trier.

Rod Petrie has been promoted from managing director to chairman of Scottish Premier League side Hibernian FC following the resignation of Ken Lewandowski. "Having served an 'apprenticeship' for eight years, I look forward to continuing to work with our talented young manager Tony Mowbray," Petrie said.

Celtic FC striker Henri Camara and Rangers FC forward Nacho Novo have both been suspended for offences missed by the referee during the Old Firm derby three weeks ago. Both players received automatic one-match bans and 12 additional disciplinary points for their actions. Novo was found guilty of stamping on Celtic midfielder Stephen Pearson while Camara was punished for kicking Rangers full-back Grégory Vignal.

Scottish rivals Dundee United FC hope to raise an investment in excess of €725,000 through a new rights issue. Chairman Eddie Thompson expects to buy the bulk of the shares himself, taking his stake in the club to over 70 per cent. The move is intended to improve the club's balance sheet rather than free up money for new players. Thompson revealed that losses at Tannadice have been reduced from £2.6m to £1.5m.

Martin Laursen's lengthy absence from the Aston Villa FC first team is likely to continue after he was withdrawn from last night's reserve match against Birmingham City FC. The Danish international has played just two Premiership games since his €4.5m move from AC Milan as he struggles to overcome a knee problem. However, the Premiership side stressed on their website that Laursen is "fully recovered" from the injury despite collecting a knock in a reserve game last week.

Belgian coach Henk Houwaart has left Cypriot side AEL Limassol FC following a 5-0 defeat by champions APOEL FC last weekend. Houwaart and AEL president Akis Ellinas had a meeting on Monday after Ellinas's post-match comments that "the club would have to take action after such a result" and it was decided that the coach, who guided AEL to last season's Cypriot Cup final, would leave.

Last updated: 14/12/04 23.33CET

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