Vol. 4 Num 94 Fri. August 29, 2003  

Elber leaves for Lyon

Brazilian striker Giovane Elber has joined French champions Lyon from German title holders Bayern Munich, the French club announced Wednesday.

The 31-year-old arrives here later Wednesday for a medical and Lyon hope to finalise the deal immediately afterwards or on Thursday morning.

Lyon spokesman Olivier Blanc announced the deal but did not disclose the tranfer fee or the length of contract.

The French title holders will be keen for a swift conclusion as the deadline for Champions League registration is August 31.

Lyon fought off fellow Champions League hopefuls Monaco in the hunt for last season's Bundesliga top-scorer.

Elber had said Monaco were slightly ahead in the race for his signature but was impressed by the efforts of French champions Lyon.

"I talked with Monaco and they have the priority although Lyon are also going to a lot of trouble," added the former VfB Stuttgart striker.

Monaco and Lyon are believed to have offered four million euros for the Brazilian's services with Lyon offering an annual salary of three million euros while Monaco tabled a figure of 2.5 million euros per season.

Bayern general manager Uli Hoeness revealed a decision would be made on Thursday.

"A decision on whether Elber goes or not will be made by Thursday at the latest," Hoeness told German daily Bild. "Elber could earn more money at Lyon but Monaco have put together the better package."

Former Brazilian international Elber had earlier admitted his Bayern days were numbered.

Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld gave Elber the green light to leave on Tuesday, saying he should leave the Olympic Stadium and the player confessed he felt the same way.

"The manager has said I can stay here if I do not find another club but I think it is best if I go," Elber had said after training on Wednesday.

Hitzfeld claims the 2001 Champions League victors are not pushing Elber out of the club because his contract expires in 2004 and they would lose the player for nothing, rather than receive a transfer fee.

"The financial side is not important," explained Hitzfeld. "The transfer fee is not that large."