The summer transfer window will close Wednesday night with, as always, a flurry of activity as clubs try to fill needs and offload dead weight. Felix Magath and his Wolfsburg side seem to be the most active club in last-minute transfer dealings, as Magath remakes his club to his satisfaction.
VfL Wolfsburg are about to come to terms with former Stuttgart player Alexander Hleb following the results of his physical. The 30 year-old midfielder from Belarus had his contract expire at Birmingham City, for whom he played in 19 matches last season.
The well-traveled veteran had two stints with the Swabians, playing in over 175 matches for Stuttgart in all competitions between 2000 and 2005, and another 36 matches while on loan from Barcelona in the 2009/2010 season. Hleb began his career in his native Belarus at Bate Borisov, and spent three seasons under Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, appearning in 125 matches for the Gunners before going joining Barcelona, appearing in 19 La Liga matches, eight Cup matches and nine Champions League games for the Catalan giants. Hleb has scored 36 goals in 423 professional appearances.
VfL Wolfsburg also added Swedish striker Rasmus Jonsson, 21. The 6’3″ striker has two national team caps and appeared nine times for the Swedish U-21 side. Jonsson has been with Swedish club Helsingborgs since 2007, having scored 27 goals in 92 appearances for the team that captured the Swedish Cup in 2010. Jonsson signed a four year-deal in the Volkswagen city, but won’t join Felix Magath’s side immediately, as he will be with the Swedish U-21 side for their Euro qualifiers.
”I am delighted to have signed a highly-talented forward,” said Magath, who has now made enough new signings to form a brand new team since he arrived at the club in the spring. “Rasmus Jonsson can both score and create goals and he will help us.” The arrival of Jonsson seems to spell the end of Patrick Helmes stay with Wolfsburg.
FC Koln coach Stale Solbakken has added to his club’s depth following their first win of the new campaign, bringing in Tunisian international defender Ammar Jemal on loan from Young Boys, with a buy option in place for Koln. The 24 year-old Jemal has made 23 international appearances and played in 21 matches with the Swiss side since 2010.
Last week 2. Bundesliga club Dinamo Dresden acquired Mickael Pote, 26, from Ligue 1 side OGC Nice for 100,000 euros. The 5’10” forward played last season on loan to Ligue 2 club Le Mans, where he scored three times in 19 games. Pote, a native of Lyon, also played for Grenoble Foot, AS Cannes and Clermont Foot before joining Nice in 2009, where he made 19 appearances before his winter loan deal to Le Mans. Pote has also earned 13 international caps for Benin.
Hamburger SV’s Eljero Elia flew to Turin Tuesday to undergo a medical, after which he will sign for Juventus, reportedly for 9 million euros. The Dutch international arrived in Hamburg in July, 2009, after play in the Netherlands for ADO Den Haag and FC Twente. He featured 60 times for Hamburg in all competitions, netting 11 goals. Elia has only played 120 minutes thus far in four 2011-2012 Hamburg league matches. Elia was signed by Hamburg for 8.9 million euros
The 24 year-old winger has appeared 22 times for the Dutch national team and was in their camp preparing for the Netherlands Euro qualifiers against San Marino and Finland when he left for Turin. He will be joining former Bundesliga players Luca Toni and Arturo Vidal at Juventus.
American international Michael Bradley has finally achieved his wish to transfer to Serie A. The Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder has not played for the senior club since returning from his winter loan to Aston Villa. Terms of Bradley’s transfer were not announced, but he it was clear that his time was up at Gladbach despite being featured regularly since joining the Foals in 2008 from Eredivisie club Herenveen, where he scored 18 goals in his final season.
Bradley appeared in 76 Bundesliga matches while at Gladbach, along with five DFB Pokal contests, scoring 11 goals. The 24 year-old midfielder has also made 60 appearances for the USMNT, scoring nine times. Bradley featured in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, scoring a goal against Slovenia.
Chievo are known as “The Flying Donkeys” and are based in Verona. They finished 11th in last year’s Serie A table.
German international defender Per Mertesacker of Werder Bremen will be reportedly heading to Arsenal before the transfer window ends Wednesday night. Last week the 26 year-old German international defender squelched a move to Arsenal, insisting that he wanted to stay with the green-whites. Meanwhile Wolfsburg’s Simon Kjaer looks close to signing with AS Roma, with Wolfsburg intent on a $10 million euro transfer fee. According to Kjaer’s agent, “it’s just a question of minor details. Simon has passed his medical and has agreed personal terms. Now we just have to wait.”
The swinging doors at Wolfsburg also reportedly will include Brazilian Diego, who has not played yet this season for Felix Magath’s club. Reportedly Wolfsburg and Atletico Madrid were in “advanced negotiations” for the midfielder, but the Spanish club seems to now only have the money for a loan of the midfielder’s services, not the 10 million euros that Wolfsburg were seeking. Stay tuned to see how this works out.