ESPN Soccernet has reported that Portuguese international striker Hugo Almeida is leaving Werder Bremen for Turkish club Besiktas for a 2 million euro transfer fee on a new three and a half-year contract. Almeida, 26, was out of contract this summer. Werder Bremen are currently in 14th place in the Bundesliga table at the winter break halfway point.
Almeida led Werder Bremen with nine goals during the first half of the 2010-2011 Bundesliga season, making seven starts and six substitute appearances in league play. Almeida missed the last three league games due to suspension after elbowing St. Pauli’s Carlos Zambrano on November 28 after scoring three goals earlier in the match. He joined Werder Bremen on loan for the 2006-2007 season on loan from FC Porto, and signed a permanent deal with the German club the next season. The 6’3″ striker scored 41 goals while playing in the Green-Whites kit.
Almeida has also scored 12 goals for Portugal since 2004, including one in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and another goal in November in Portugal’s 4-0 rout of Spain in a friendly match.
Besiktas currently are fifth in the Turkish Super League table, fourteen points behind leaders Trabzonspor. Besiktas finished fourth last season after winning the title in the 2008-2009 season. Almeida will be joining fellow countrymen Simao, who just signed on December 22 with the Turkish club, and Richardo Quaresma as Besiktas make a push to climb the table. Besiktas fans seem quite excited to have Almeida joining their historic club.
Mike Hanke Joins Borussia Monchengladbach
Twenty-seven year old Bundesliga veteran Mike Hanke has chosen to join Borussia Monchengladbach after three seasons at Hannover 96. The former Schalke and Wolfsburg player joined Hannover in 2007, scoring 19 times in 81 appearances in Hannover.
This season Hanke has been used strictly in a substitute’s role, appearing seven times off the bench in the 2010-2011 Bundesliga Hinrunde. He has had value in this role, scoring three goals for Hannover 96 this season as Mirko Slomka’s team has been a wonderful surprise, currently holding the fourth spot in the table. Hanke’s late goal against Hamburg gave Hannover all three points in a 3-2 win and he scored the equalizer against his new team, Gladbach, to split the points.
Hanke also made twelve appearances for the German national team between 2005 and 2007, scoring once. His request to move to Borussia Monchengladbach can be seen as an attempt to get regular playing time. Gladbach currently sit last in the Bundesliga table with ten points.
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