VIENNA, July 5 (Reuters) - Austrian international Sanel Kuljic has left one club he did not want to play for, only to move to another.
In the latest chapter of a convoluted process, Kuljic was transferred from Swiss side FC Sion to Austria Vienna on Thursday.
The 29-year-old striker was involved in a five-month legal battle after walking out on Sion alleging he had not been paid his wages, a claim disputed by the club.
Kuljic took his case to world soccer’s governing body FIFA and signed a provisional agreement with Austria Vienna, saying he would join the club if his contract with Sion was nullified by the end of July.
In the meantime, however, he attracted the interest of league champions FC Salzburg and seemed set to join Giovanni Trapattoni’s team once his pre-contract agreement with Vienna had expired.
But Vienna and Sion disrupted that plan on Thursday when they reached their own agreement, freeing Kuljic from his Swiss contract and automatically taking the matter out of FIFA’s hands.
According to FIFA’s transfer regulations, a player cannot change clubs twice in a single transfer window without special dispensation, meaning Kuljic is now almost certainly a Vienna player.
“A story with a happy ending, before the season has even begun,” was Vienna’s verdict in a statement released on the club’s Web site (www.fkaustria.at).
“This whole farce is not over yet,” Kuljic told the Web site sport1.at. “Salzburg would have been the best solution all round but nobody seems to have cared about what I thought.
“Now if I don’t put in a good performance on the pitch, everyone will say (he) just wants to get away from the club.”