Date: 9th July 2008 at 4:33pm
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Greek sources are confidently predicting that Gilberto Silva is close to joining Panathanaikos, currently managed by Henk ten Cate, for a fee reported to be between £1m and £2.5m.

Arsenal’s acting Managing Director, Ken Friar is reported to have agreed conditions in principle with Nikos Pateras, Chairman of the Athens based club. Greek daily Sportday quotes Friar as saying “As far as I know the player and agent will travel to Athens to meet with the Panathinaikos people. If Gilberto reaches agreement then we will reach agreement with Panathinaikos.”

The same source also reports Gilberto stating that “I have no problem to come to Greece if financially happy. We will get the proposal in my hands and then stop to think about it.”

If there is a potential stumbling block it is that the player is looking for a 3 year deal while the Greek offer of ?2.5m per year is for 2 years with the 3rd year conditional on him playing at least 50% of available games in the 2nd year.

Gilberto`s quiet dignity has won him many admirers at the club. His professionalism in accepting a much reduced role last season in marked contrast to that displayed by some other players.



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