Fenerbahce Ulker are reportedly looking to get rid of the biggest contract in Europe. Greek website sport24.gr suggests that the Turkish side no longer needs the services of Lina Kleiza.
Kleiza became the best-paid basketball player in Europe after he joined Fenerbahce last summer from Toronto Raptors. Kleiza’s contract is reportedly worth 3.300.000 euros per season.
He was expected to revive his career under Zeljko Obradovic but had a less than impressive season instead.
Lithuanian forward averaged 10.1 points and 3.1 rebounds per game in Euroleague which was a significant drop compared to 17.1 points and 6.5 rebounds that Kleiza averaged for Olympiacos in 2009-2010 season.
Despite having the most expensive player and the coach with most titles in Europe and being labelled as heavy favourites for the Final Four, Fenerbahce failed to reach Euroleague play-offs.
Fenerbahce are prepared to buy-out Kleiza‘s contract and release from the roster. It is reported that Giorgos Printezis is on top of Obradovic‘s list to replace Kleiza if his contract is terminated.
Obradovic was interested in bringing Printezis over to Panathinaikos while he was in charge of the Greens but Printezis refused to leave Olympiacos for the arch rivals.
Printezis has not yet received an official offer from Fenerbahce but other Turkish clubs are already lining up for his signature.
Both Anadolu Efes and Galatasaray are said to be fighting for Printezis. Galatasaray, who are currently playing against Fenerbahce in Tuskish league finals made an offer worth 1.700.000 euros per season for the Greek forward.
After appointment of Dusko Ivkovic as a head coach, Anadolu Efes are also in the race. Ivkovic led Olympiacos to Euroleague title in 2012 with Printezis hitting the famous buzzer-beater. The two could again re-join in Istanbul next season.
However, Printezis’ first option is to stay at Olympiacos. It was 10th season for Pritenzis with the Reds and he’d prefer not to leave Piraeus.