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Spartans eye Shaw signing as Nikolopoulos heads to Cyprus

Ħamrun Spartans are back in the transfer market for a central defender after Orestis Nikolopoulos has decided to continue his career in Cyprus with Ayia Napa.

The towering Greek defender looked as though he would extend his stay with the Reds after he fully recovered from a serious cruciate knee ligament injury he suffered last season.

Last week, he was part of the Ħamrun squad, under the charge of coach Mark Buttigieg, that underwent a training camp in Gozo.

However, Nikolopoulos had a change of heart when this week he received a lucrative offer from Ayia Napa,  the same Cypriot club who late last month had managed to secure the services of another former Ħamrun Spartans player, Marco Criaco.

Ayia Napa have just lost their top-flight status in the Cypriot league and are now looking to return to the top division under the charge of Italian coach Manuele Blasi, who coached both Nikolopoulos and Criaco in the BOV Premier League last season.

Ħamrun are now understood to have set their sights on trying to sign young Malta defender Kurt Shaw, who is on the books of Sliema Wanderers.

It is understood that the Spartans are expected to meet the Sliema top hierarchy in the coming days in a bid to bring a valuable replacement for Nikolopoulos.

Should the Spartans fail in their bid to sign Shaw they will turn their sights on signing an overseas defender as they look to produce a strong performance in the BOV Premier League next season, with a possible bid for European football on their agenda.

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