Stojkovic pens permanent deal with Partizan

BELGRADE - Vladimir Stojkovic has signed a three-year deal with Partizan Belgrade after joining them on loan from Portugal's Sporting last August, the Serbia goalkeeper said.

"This is what I wanted, my ambition was to sign a long-term contract with Partizan after arriving here from Sporting," Stojkovic told Belgrade media on Saturday.

"I am looking forward to the second half of the season and our bid to retain the Serbian league and cup double," he added.

Partizan, who have won a record three successive league titles, are five points clear of city rivals Red Star at the December-February winter break.

Stojkovic, a former Red Star player, had failed to make an impact at any of the foreign clubs he played for after leaving the 1991 European Cup winners in 2006.

But he has been in good form for Partizan and helped them reach this season's Champions League group stage for the first time since 2003.

Partizan lost all six games but Stojkovic was confident they could improve next season.

"We want to go a step further in Europe's elite competition next season if we qualify, it's time to get to the next level and the current crop of players have it in them," he said.