Striker Ganea jumps ship across Bucharest

December 27, 2006

BUCHAREST, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Ionel Ganea, the leading Romanian scorer this season, has broken his contract with Dinamo Bucharest to sign a record deal with arch-rivals Rapid Bucharest.

A Rapid Bucharest spokesman said on Wednesday the club's owner George Copos had agreed to pay Ganea a record 350,000 euros ($462,300) salary a year.

Ganea might pocket one million euros during his 2-1/2-year contract from wages and special bonuses for team wins and for his goals, Cristian Costache said.

Ganea's deal, which is with immediate effect, is the most lucrative contract in Romanian soccer.

At the end of November, Ganea said that he would extend his contract with Dinamo until 2009. Dinamo lead the table with 52 points, Steaua are second with 39 while Rapid lie third with 36.

A special clause of the contract is that Ganea will be appointed as club vice-president for two years immediately after he ends his activity as player, Costache said.

Ganea, 33, has scored 12 goals in 19 matches for Dinamo in one of his most productive seasons.

Sources close to Rapid said Copos had paid back all the money earned by Ganea in his seven months with Dinamo, including salary and bonuses worth 170,000 euros.