Eyal Golasa has stunned Maccabi Haifa by signing a four and a half year contract with Italian giants Lazio.
The Israeli international has successfully undergone a medical and joined the Serie A outfit without Maccabi’s knowledge.
Golasa turned 18 in October and had not yet agreed a professional contract with the Israeli champions, though he did sign a five-year agreement with the club when he joined from youth team Betar Tobruk 18 months ago.
However, as Golasa was a minor when he signed the agreement it is not legally binding. The midfielder will earn 350,000 Euros this season and next, with the sum rising subsequently by 50,000 Euros per season.
Golasa has made 20 appearances for Haifa this season and scored seven goals. Golasa said: “I understand Haifa’s anger but more than three months have passed since I became 18 and they were talking to me about sums of money that were not appropriate for a player of my status.”
Maccabi are weighing their legal options and are hoping to scupper the deal by not granting Golosa’s official release before the transfer window closes tonight. In any event the Greens will be entitled to a fee from Lazio for nurturing the player. That fee will be determined by a Uefa arbitration committee.
Golosa’s parents, who are divorced, took different positions on their son’s unilateral action. His father Avner said: “Eyal has stabbed Maccabi in the back. They treated him well and I am ashamed of what he has done.”
His mother Miri said: “We support Eyal and are proud that he has joined a top European club.”
Eyebrows were also raised in Israel because of Lazio’s fascist fans and historical political associations. Maariv’s sports editor Avi Ratzon wrote: “Mussolini must be turning in his grave at the thought of an Israeli wearing a Lazio shirt.”
Golosa hopes to negotiate a deal with the Israeli army based on the agreement with Espanyol striker Ben Sahar who does military service during his time away from the club.