Bundesliga clubs were active during the last hours of the January transfer window, as Srdjan Lakic headed to Hoffenheim, Bayer Leverkusen plucked defender Vedran Ćorluka from Spurs, Mohammed Zidan returned to his old Mainz club and Augsburg picked up Koo Ja-Cheol from Wolfsburg. The club from the Volkswagen city also unloaded defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos to EPL side Sunderland, while the transfer of young midfielder Thomas Eisfeld from Dortmund to Arsenal was completed. Russian striker Pavel Pogrebnyak left Stuttgart on loan to Fulham. Among the moves rumored to be made that didn’t materialize was a deal for Michael Ballack, who was thought to perhaps sign with a MLS or Chinese side, while Dortmund striker Lucas Barrios remained with BvB despite word that he was leaving.
Leverkusen Obtain Corluka
Bayer Leverkusen, desperately thin on the backline, made a late move to acquire veteran Croatian international defender Vedran Ćorluka on loan from Harry Rednapp’s Tottenham side. The 25 year-old has represented the Croatian senior team 52 times, scoring a goal against Turkey last November in a Euro qualifier, while also playing 42 matches for Croatian national youth sides.
Ćorluka, 25, began his career with Dinamo Zagreb in 2003 before moving to Manchester City in August, 2007 for a reported 8 million pound transfer fee. The Croatian featured in 38 league matches with City before transferring to Spurs in 2008 for 5.5 million pounds on a six-year deal. Ćorluka made 135 appearances in all competitions playing for City and Spurs. His loan spell ends at the end of the season.
Borussia Dortmund Sell Zidan to Mainz, Elfeld to Arsenal
Egyptian international striker Mohammed Zidan, 30, has returned to the Mainz club where he scored 9 goals in 26 matches during a loan spell from Werder Bremen. The native of Port Said began his professional career in his hometown with Al-Masry in 1998, before moving to Danish side FC Midtjylland in 2003. After scoring 30 goals in Denmark to twice lead the Superliga in scoring, Zidan began his Bundesliga career with Werder Bremen in 2005, and played at Hamburg and Mainz before arriving at BvB in 2008, where’s he scored 13 goals in 66 matches.
“Mohamed Zidan is exactly the type of player we were looking for. He wanted to come here, he knows the club and the league well. He’s in great shape and has trained well at Dortmund, which means he won’t need too much time to settle in. He’s proven his footballing ability throughout his career, especially here,” said sporting director Christian Heidl. “We remember his time here fondly and have stayed in touch. His presence and goal threat will improve the quality of our squad and his personality will fit in very well here.” While Zidan hasn’t featured much recently for Jurgen Klopp’s exciting side, he has a bit of Champions League experience and has been on two Africa Cup of Nations title-winning teams with Egypt in 2008 and 2010. Zidan has scored goals against England, Brazil and Australia in international friendlies, as well as against Cameroon and Algeria during AFCON play.
Despite his lack of playing time recently in league play, Zidan was involved in Dortmund’s training matches over the winter break and was able to find the back of the net. Zidan signed with Mainz for an undisclosed fee on a contract through June, 2012 that includes an option until June, 2014.
Dortmund also completed the sale of 19 year-old Thomas Eisfeld to Arsenal after the midfielder completed his medical exam. The transfer fee was unreported but believed to be about in the range of 475,000 euros.
Magath Offloads Lakic, Kyrgiakos and Ja-Cheol in Loan Deals
VfL Wolfsburg and manager Felix Magath were the busiest Bundesliga club during this January’s transfer window. After using 35 players during the Hinrunde, Magath brought in another eight players and has made some last-day loan deals to compress the massive squad he’s assembled as he transitions Wolfsburg into the team he desires to lead.
Srjdan Lakic, 28, made the expected move to Hoffenheim on a loan deal after arriving in Wolfsburg just last summer on a free transfer from Kaiserslautern. The Croatian stiker featured in only ten matches for Magath without scoring any goals. He began his career for the Hadjuk Split youth team in 2000, and played in the Croatian First League before joining Hertha Berlin in 2006. The 6’1″ attacker scored 35 goals in 80 matches for the Red Devils. Hoffenheim sold their long-time striker, Vedad Ibisevic, to Stuttgart last week.
South Korean international Koo Ja-Cheol went on loan to relegation-threatened FC Augsburg. The 6′ midfielder will hope to provide some offensive help for Jos Luhukay’s squad. Koo has played in 22 matches at Wolfsburg since arriving from K-League side Jeju United in 2011. Koo scored five goals in last January’s Asian Cup tournament.
Magath also sent Greek defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos to English Premier League side Sunderland through the end of the season. The 32 year-old played 565 minutes in seven Wolfsburg appearances thus far this season, and came to Wolfsburg from Liverpool. The defender has also played for Panathinaikos, Rangers, Eintracht Frankfurt and AEK Athens while earning 61 caps for Greece.
Pogrebnyak to Fulham
The acquisition of Ibisevic from Hoffenheim last week signaled an even more dimished role for Pavel Pogrebnyak, and Stuttgart worked out a loan deal that sent him to Fulham. The Russian forward may find playing time with Fulham earlier in the day completing a deal sending Bobby Zamora to Queens Park Rangers. Fulham are believed to have paid 3 million pounds to Stuttgart for Pogrebnyak’s services for the rest of the season. The former Zenit St. Petersburg man scored one goal for the Swabians this season. He has represented Russia 30 times since 2006.
2. Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt purchased the contract of Kaiserslautern defender Martin Amedick, 29, for an undisclosed fee as the club bolsters itself for its promotion bid over the next months. The 6’4″ native of Paderborn played in over 100 matches for the Red Devils and has also played for Eintracht Braunschweig and Borussia Dortmund. On Monday Kaiserslautern obtained Legia Warsaw midfielder Ariel Borysiuk. The 20 year-old has already played 90 Ekstraklasa matches for Legia and has also had Europa League experience with the Polish club.
SC Freiburg’s Maximilian Nicu has left the club on a free transfer, signing with 1860 Munich. The German-born Romanian came to Freiburg from Hertha Berlin, and has earned three caps for Romania. Twenty-one year-old midfielder Christian Bickel has also left Freiburg, joining Bavarian 3. Liga club Jahn Regensberg on a loan spell.