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20/07/2004

Dabizas turns down other offers to stay put at City

Dabizas turns down other offers to stay put at City

Nikos Dabizas has revealed that he turned down offers from other clubs to remain at Leicester City for another season.

The 30-year-old defender, who was part of the Greece squad that won the European Championships in Portugal earlier this month, had the option in his contract to leave the Walkers Stadium following City's relegation from the Premier League.

But after weeks of deliberation, Dabizas told manager Micky Adams at the weekend that he would be returning to the East Midlands ahead of the club's Coca-Cola Championship campaign.

He said: "After spending some time considering all the options I had available to me, I have decided to stay in Leicester for one more season.

"It was not a decision I took lightly, neither did I decide to stay at the club because I had no other alternatives.

"My main criterion was based on how much each team wanted to sign me," added the former Newcastle United centre-half, who would not disclose which other sides were interested in his services.

Dabizas made 18 appearances for Leicester last term after joining the club in January and went on to strike up a useful partnership with young defender Matt Heath.

On his official website, he said: "Everyone at Leicester and especially the manager made it very clear from the beginning that I was part of the team's plans and in the end that made me decide to stay.

"Last season, I played for Leicester for a few months and was part of a team that did not manage to keep the club in the Premier League.

"Now I will be part of a team that will try to put things right and get the club back up to the Premier League.

"I am looking forward to a successful season."

With club captain Matt Elliott a doubt for the start of the season following a knee operation, the decision by Dabizas is good news for Adams.

However, the defender is not due to return until next week and therefore will not figure for City when they travel to Milton Keynes to face the MK Dons at the National Hockey Stadium this evening (7.45).

Meanwhile, as reported in later editions of yesterday's Mercury, City have ended their interest in defender Youl Mawene.

Boss Micky Adams had taken the former Derby County centre-half on trial and he figured in the friendlies against Finnish side FC Espoo and Barnsley.

But after a two-match trial, manager Adams confirmed that the club would not be pursuing their interest in the 24-year-old, saying: "We have had a good look at Youl over a two-match period and we have decided he is not for us. We wish him all the best for the future."

The defender is now looking to seal a move to Midlands rivals Wolves, where he is also on trial.


http://www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk

 

232 Appearances in England (175 for Newcastle United, 18 for Leicester in the Premier League and 39 for Leicester in the Championship). Total League-Cup-Europe appearances 550. National Team appearances 70. Goals total 40.