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Udeze leaps to AEK's defence

UEFA Champions League hopefuls AEK Athens FC have signed versatile 26-year-old Nigeria defender Ifeanyi Udeze on a three-year contract.

UEFA Champions League hopefuls AEK Athens FC have signed versatile Nigeria defender Ifeanyi Udeze on a three-year contract.

Free agent
Udeze had been a free agent since June when he was granted permission to leave PAOK FC after appealing to the Greek football authorities over unpaid wages. He arrived in Greece as a 17-year-old, playing for FC Kavala before moving to PAOK in 2000. He has made 162 Alpha Ethniki appearances and also played eleven games in England while on loan at West Bromwich Albion FC.

Registration issues
Udeze, who can operate as a central or left-sided defender, will be ineligible for the second leg of AEK's UEFA Champions League third qualifying round tie against Heart of Midlothian FC. He could be registered for the group stage provided AEK triumph against the Edinburgh side. They lead 2-1 from Wednesday's opening match at Murrayfield.