Rivaldo saga ends at Olympiakos

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The Independent Football

In what Greek newspapers were calling the biggest football deal in the country's history, Rivaldo was due to fly into Athens yesterday evening to finalise his move to Olympiakos - finally putting paid to Bolton's hopes of securing his services.

In what Greek newspapers were calling the biggest football deal in the country's history, Rivaldo was due to fly into Athens yesterday evening to finalise his move to Olympiakos - finally putting paid to Bolton's hopes of securing his services.

The Brazilian has been linked with several clubs over recent months, after being released by Cruzeiro in February, and held talks with Bolton - only for the deal to collapse due to the player's wage demands.

Rivaldo's English representative had been hoping to make contact with the Bolton manager, Sam Allardyce, who had said he was no longer interested in signing the Brazil World Cup winner. However, after being messed around so publicly by Rivaldo, Allardyce did not pursue the matter any further.

And, according to reports in Greece, the former Milan and Barcelona player discussed his latest move in Madrid on Tuesday with the Olympiakos vice-president, Giorgos Luvaris.

Olympiakos said the 32-year-old will sign a one-year contract with the possibility of a 12-month extension.

Bolton did finalise one deal yesterday, however, a two-year contract with Gary Speed, - though the Wales international admitted to "mixed emotions" about his £750,000 exit from Newcastle United after seven years with the club.

"Newcastle have been a fantastic club for me, especially in the professional way they have dealt with my departure," he said. "I didn't particularly want to leave but Bolton made me an offer which showed they wanted me. The moment I met Sam Allardyce and the other staff here I felt very comfortable and know I have made the right decision."

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