Greece midfielder Kostas Katsouranis turned down an extension to his contract with Benfica and is poised to leave Portugal for Italy or Spain, according to newspaper reports in Portugal.

However, Greek reports suggest he is eyed by his former club, AEK, as well as Panathinaikos and Olympiakos.

Katsouranis said no to a further two years to his contract, which expires in the summer of 2010.

Benfica offered him a pay rise as well, taking his salary to 1.2 million euros.

The Greek international, however, insisted on his decision to leave Portugal this summer, so Benfica are about to slap a 3.5-million-euro price tag on their number 8.

Portuguese newspaper O Jogo suggested on Tuesday that his future likely lies in the Italian or the Spanish league, as he is not yet prepared to return home.

It also mentions the interest by Chelsea and AC Milan in the player during previous transfer windows.

Yet Panathinaikos are known to be interested in the player and the Portuguese newspaper added on Tuesday that they have repeatedly expressed their intention to buy him.

AEK are also in the running for Katsouranis and are banking on Benfica’s interest in their stars Ismael Blanco and Sotiris Kyrgiakos.

Finally, Olympiakos have also checked the 29-year-old, given they will need to add another defensive midfielder to the roster.

If Cristian Ledesma does not return to Piraeus this summer, Katsouranis would be an excellent alternative for the champions.

Katsouranis was one of the key factors in Greece’s triumph at EURO 2004, beating Portugal in his own “home” (Benfica’s Estadio da Luz) and following Greece’s success at the tournament Katsouranis was a regular for Greece in their unsuccessful 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Katsouranis became one of Greece’s impact players in their EURO 2008 qualifiers in which he helped Greece qualify for the finals and have a chance to retain their crown.

Katsouranis has also captained Greece on several occasions.

The 2004-05 season would prove to be one Katsouranis’ finest seasons with the club, as he scored 10 times in 28 appearances from the defensive midfielder spot, leading the club in a hard battle for the title.

AEK managed to finish third when many had expected a mid-table performance.

Werder Bremen expressed strong interest for the Greek international but Kostas together with president Demis Nikolaidis decided to reject the offer.

In the 2005-06 season he led the club to a second place finish in the league and brought them into the UEFA Champions League.

At the end of the season Fernando Santos was sacked and Katsouranis wanted to leave to a bigger club and further his career abroad.

He signed with S.L. Benfica, managed by Fernando Santos, for a fee of €5m euros.

Katsouranis’ individual honours include having been named Greek Footballer of the year in 2005 and Benfica Footballer of the year 2008-2009.