Jürgen Macho could return to match action in England.
The Austrian national goalkeeper is currently playing for Panionios in Greece’s top-flight Super League. Now Sky Sports reports that the 33-year-old was targeted by English Premiership side West Bromwich Albion.
The club managed by former Fulham boss Roy Hodgson is currently looking for a new keeper after former number one pick Scott Carson left to ply his trade at Bursaspor in Turkey.
Austrian national team midfielder Paul Scharner – who joined West Brom last year – told Sky Sports today (Thurs): “I reckon a deal can be done for Jürgen.”
Scharner previously played for his current club’s league rivals Wigan Athletic. Macho spent four injury-stricken years in the Premier League at Sunderland AFC and Chelsea until 2004. The experienced keeper was Austrian national team manager Dietmar Constantini’s first choice before injuring himself ahead of the team’s most recent matches against Germany (1-2) and Latvia (3-1) last month.
Macho was linked to a comeback at Rapid Vienna. Peter Pacult made clear he wanted to sign the keeper. However, Pacult was sacked in April when the past season came to a close. New Rapid boss Peter Schöttel was also understood to consider snatching up Macho. Kapfenberg’s Raphael Wolf and SV Ried keeper Thomas Gebauer may also join the Green-Whites.
Macho may consider returning to Germany where he played for 1. FC Kaiserslautern between 2005 and 2007 as Pacult took over at RB Leipzig. The club are currently playing in the fourth-highest league. However, Pacult can be sure of being given a generous transfer budget this summer since RB Leipzig are funded by Salzburg-based energy drink maker Red Bull, Austria’s most valuable brand in the world.
Meanwhile, the Austrian Bundesliga penalty senate ordered Rapid to play their first two league home matches of the new season in front of empty ranks due to occurrences at the most recent Vienna derby. Around 200 hooligans went on the pitch when city rivals Austria Vienna took a 2-0 lead in May. Rapid were also fined 50,000 Euros. The club announced it planned to issue those offenders who could be identified with stadium bans of several years and fines.
The verdict of two games with no audience means Rapid has to do without expected earnings of hundreds of thousands of Euros. Nevertheless, club officials decided not to reduce the price of season tickets. The team – who won the Austrian league 32 times – face German Bundesliga club 1899 Hoffenheim at the Gerhard Hanappi Stadium in Vienna this Saturday.
The first round of the 2011/2012 season takes place on 16 and 17 July. Sturm Graz won the past season. It was the first time the club nicknamed The Blackies triumphed in the domestic competition.