Borussia Dortmund are tied in points atop the Bundesliga table after winning the title last season, and management has shown it’s gratitude by extending the contracts of both Coach Jurgen Klopp and Sporting Director Michael Zorc for another two years. In transfer news, Hannover has added a young striker from Manchester United while Werder Bremen and FC Augsburg have summoned help for their Ruckrunde battles and FC Koln acquired attacking help while in-form Lukas Podolski is sidelined with injury.
Klopp and Zoric Extend at BvB
In a wise move by Borussia Dortmund management that sees them place their trust in the duo of Jurgen Klopp and Michael Zorc, the club has extended the contract of each through June, 2016. “We’re delighted that we were able to extend both contracts ahead of schedule. “Both have carried out some fantastic work over the past few years,” said BVB executive director Hans-Joachim Watzke. “We’re going to continue to strive for our targets with continuity and vigour.”
Following announcement of the contract extensions, Klopp stated that “I’m privileged to be working for such a great club. As head coach it was important for me that my team of Zeljko Buvac and Peter Krawietz also had their deals extended. We’re very grateful that Borussia Dortmund are placing their trust in us over such a long period of time.”
Zoric, who played in over 450 matches for BvB and has been the club’s sporting director since 2005 is quite happy to extend his contract and be a part of what could be years of glory at the Signal Iduna Park. Zoric stressed the importance of continuity in building a successful club, and for Dortmund fans, having Klopp and Zoric sewn up for a few more years with Marco Reus joining BvB this summer, there will be no lacking of excitement in Dortmund.
While Dortmund have added Reus and young attacking midfielders Moritz Leitner, Leonardo Bittencourt and Mustafa Amini in the last year, it appears that 19 year-old Dortmund midfield prospect Thomas Elsfeld is headed to Arsenal. A torn ACL in 2009 slowed the progress of the young German, but he has played a dozen matches for Dortmund’s U-19 side this season, scoring six times. He is in London undergoing a medical exam, which if passed, will signal his transfer to Arsenal for 475,000 Euros according to goal.com.
In other Dortmund news, English club Fulham look have their sights set on signing Dortmund striker Lucas Barrios.
Hannover Adds Diouf
The 96ers acquired 24 year-old striker Mame Biram ‘Thomas’Diouf from Manchester United for a fee of 1.08 million Euros. The Senegalese international is now on the books at Hannover until June 30, 2014.
Diouf had received little playing time this season at United, limited to Carling Cup and reserve team play. On loan to Blackburn Rovers last season, the pacy Diouf featured in 26 matches, scoring three times. Before signing on with Manchester United in 2009, the6’1″ forward played in Norway at Molde FK, scoring 33 goals in 74 matches. Diouf, who earned a 2009 hat trick against Tippaligaen rival Brann in the first nine minutes of the match, has gotten twelve caps with Senegal, scoring twice. Although he played in a November friendly for his country, he did not make the AFCON roster that was loaded with talented strikers.
“I’m delighted that we secured another attacking alternative in the form of Mame Diouf. The aim for us now is to get him integrated as quickly as possible so that he can start playing a part in both our Bundesliga and Europa League campaigns,” explained Slomka. Hannover have been successful with players coming out of the Tippaligaen, including leading scorer Moa Abdellaoue, Didier Ya Konan and Henning Hauger, while fellow Senegalese attackers Demba Ba and Papiss Demba Cisse fared well in the Bundesliga before moving to Newcastle United.
Werder Bremen Sign Junozovic
Werder Bremen made another addition to their depleted squad, inking former Austria Wien midfielder Zlatko Junuzović, 24. The diminutive Austrian international came to Austria with his parents as a five year old, and came up with local club Grazer AK (GAK), where he saw his first senior team football in 2005. An Austrian citizen, the Bosnian born Zunuzovic has featured in six matches for the senior team of his adopted country while playing over 200 professional club matches for GAK, SK Austria Kärnten and Austria Wien.
“We’d reached agreement with the player over a move this summer. After talks with FK Austria, we had the opportunity to bring the transfer forward, under fair conditions”, Werder Sporting Director Klaus Allofs said. For head coach Thomas Schaaf, ” Zlatko Junuzovic is a player with great technique, the ability to lay on goals and a good finish himself. His game will enrich our midfield and increase our options there.”
Billy Goats Sign Jong Tae Se — Podolski Out 3-4 Weeks
FC Koln have signed Jong Tae-Se, the North Korean international striker, from VfL Bochum for an undisclosed fee. The 27 year-old, who was born in Japan, has played in 39 matches for the 2. Bundesliga side since his arrival in 2010, scoring 14 goals. He joined Bochum from J-League side Kawasaki Frontale, where he scored 47 goals in 112 matches.
With the in-form Podolski out for about a month during the greatest individual season of his club career, Koln Sporting Director Volker Finke feels that the acquisition will help his team survive Podolski’s absence. “Jong Tae-Se fits the exact profile that we had sought. The player is extremely strong in the air, and has good instincts in front of goal. We have watched the player for a long time and we are convinced of his qualities as a striker.”
Jong Tae-Se represented North Korea in the 2010 World Cup and the 2011 Asian Football Championship. He has scored 16 goals in 28 matches with the North Korea since 2007.
FC Augsburg Adds Bochum Defender
Augsburg added 21 year-old defender Matthias Ostrzolek from VfL Bochum for 500,000 Euros. The Bochum-born player has represented both Poland and Germany at the youth level, and has plyed 33 games with Bochum’s senior team in 2. Bundesliga since 2010. He has been on the pitch 1368 minutes for Bochum thus far this season.
Vermouth Goes on Loan
Kaiserslautern is loaning Israeli international Gil Vermouth,26, to Dutch side De Graafschap. The Haifa-born attacking midfielder only made two appearances this season with the Red Devils’ senior side.