Boateng opts for Israel
By Kent Hedlundh
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Beitar Jerusalem have snapped up Ghana's Derek Boateng on a three-year deal.
Israeli outfit Beitar Jerusalem have snapped up Ghanaian international Derek Boateng on a three-year deal.
The 23-year-old midfielder attracted interest from abroad while on duty for The Black Stars at the World Cup.
Hearts, Marseille and Sheffield United were initially linked with the young powerhouse, but the Israelis have beaten them to the chase.
"I'm happy to be in Israel," Boateng told the Jerusalem Post.
"It was a tough decision, but I finally decided to play in Israel. I think Beitar is a good club with high aspirations and I hope we can achieve this goal together."
Boateng has moved from Swedish outfit AIK Solna where he has been for the past three seasons after moving from Panathinaikos for £300,000 in the summer of 2003.
He and his team-mates were heavily criticised when relegated in 2004, which was only the third time in the club's history.
But he found full fitness and form in the 2005 season, successfully guiding the team to the Superettan title and putting himself into the frame for the tournament in Germany.
He looks set to replace Mazua Ensombo who was released by coach Ossie Ardiles last month.