NICOSIA - APOEL striker Ailton has cemented his move to Russia’s Terek Grozny in a record deal for the Cypriot club.
The 28-year-old secured cemented legendary status at APOEL since moving to Nicosia in 2010 helping them to a league title triumph and a Super Cup but it was his goals in last season’s Champions League that made him a talking point in Europe and a favourite amongst the supporters.
His brace against Wisla Krakow in the playoffs secured his side’s passage into the group stage of last year’s premier European competition and the former FC Copenhagen front-man was again on target in the group stage scoring in both legs against Porto as well as the winner against Zenit St. Petersburg.
An announcement by APOEL on Wednesday night read, “We would like to thank Ailton for all he has offered to APOEL and we wish him every success with his new team.” Media reports claim that Terek paid APOEL €2.2million to acquire Aílton who has signed a three-year deal with his new club and will link up with fellow Brazilians Antonio Ferreira, Adilson and Mauricio.
APOEL had paid just under €1m to sign Ailton from FC Copenhagen – a club record at the time - and the fee paid by the Russians for the Brazilian is the biggest APOEL has ever received for an outgoing player. Ivan Jovanovic also saw fellow forward Ivan Trickovski exit the club in the summer with the FYROM international moving a for a fee of €1.2m to Club Brugge.
With just seven games played, Terek are currently second in the Russian Premier League on goal difference behind Zenit.
This season, APOEL’s European campaign ended in disaster as they exited the Europa League playoffs at the hands of Neftchi Baku. They bounced back from that disappointment with a 5-0 hammering of Enosis Neon Paralimniou on Monday.
Following the exits of Ailton and Trickovski, Jovanovic is now left with forwards Aldo Adorno, Stathis Aloneftis, Esteban Solari and new signing Mario Budimir.