News: Fernandes to Bayer Leverkusen, Diaz to Mainz

Bayer 04 Leverkusen have reached across the Atlantic to pluck striker Junior Fernandes on a five-year contract, while Mainz have inked Costa Rican international Junior Diaz from Club Brugge. Meanwhile, several other Bundesliga players will be heading abroad on loan deals.

Leverkusen Inks Fernandes

Bayer Leverkusen hope to repeat the success they had a few years ago when they signed Chilean Arturo Vidal by signing Antenor Junior Fernandes from club Universidad de Chile. Fernandes, who will turn 24 years old in October, has scored 8 goals during the current Primera Division season in 17 matches, and also scored six times in the Copa Libertadores tournament.

The 5’11” striker was born in Brazil but grew up in Chile. He scored 31 goals for smaller Chilean clubs before joining Universidad de Chile last December. Hopefully he will be a suitable replacement in the Werkself striking ranks for departed Eren Derdiyok.

Leverkusen Sporting Director Rudi Voller on Fernandes

Junior Fernandes has got everything a modern forward needs. He is strong both technically and physically and is quick and efficient in front of goal. We are confident he’ll be able to establish himself in the Bundesliga

Fernandes has earned six senior team caps for the Chilean national team.

In other Leverkusen news, pacy right back Danny Da Costa, 18, will join FC Ingolstadt on a year loan while attacker Nicolai Jørgensen, 21, will spend the upcoming season on loan to FC Copenhagen.

Junior Diaz Joins FSV Mainz

Costa Rica international Junior Diaz, 28, has been signed by FSV Mainz 05 on a three-year deal through June, 2015. He was signed from Club Brugge, where he featured in 13 matches last season. Since leaving Costa Rican club Herediano for the 2007-2008 season, Diaz has played on three Ekstraklasa title winning sides at Wisła Kraków, featuring in over 120 matches. The 6’1″ native of San José also has earned 50 caps for Costa Rica since 2003.

Mainz’ Christian Heidl commented that

Junior Diaz is a technically skilled, athletic defender who is strong in the tackle. He mainly plays on the left-hand side of a back four, but can also be utilised in the centre of defence. He was first noticed by our scouts just less than a year ago when he made a positive impression in the match they observed and we’ve kept our eye on him since then. The chance to sign him has worked out really well for us both in a sporting and business context

Diaz’ father, Enrique Diaz, earned more than 50 caps for Costa Rica from 1979 to 1992.

Reisinger to Dusseldorf

Veteran striker Stefan Reisinger, 30, has signed a two-year contract to play for Fortuna Düsseldorf next season. Obtained from Freiburg on a 200,00 euro transfer fee, Reisinger scored three goals in 25 appearances for the Breisgau-Brasilians last season for a total of 10 goals in 60 Freiburg matches since being signed from SpVgg Greuther Fürth in April, 2009.

F95 executive director Wolf Werner stated

Stefan Reisinger was a fan-favourite at his previous club thanks to his style of play. He’s a very strong runner and joins attacks from deep. He also brings experience from 72 Bundesliga games with him

Riether and Sissoko on Loan, Pogrebnyak to Reading

Sascha Riether, 29. signed by FC Koln at the beginning of last season, will spend the upcoming campaign on loan to Fulham of the EPL. Riether has played over 300 matches in Germany for SC Freiburg, VfL Wolfsburg and Koln.

Ibrahim Sissoko, the 20 year-old forward acquired by Wolfsburg last winter, is going to be loaned for the season to Greek side Panathinaikos. Sissoko only got into two matches for Wolfsburg during the Ruckrunde.

Said Wolfsburg Coach Felix Magath

Ibrahim Sissoko will hopefully gain match experience at a top European club. Panathinaikos finished as league runners-up in their most recent campaign and if he’s able to establish himself then it will be a great step forward for him. In the long-term he’ll strengthen VfL

Stuttgart man Pavel Pogrebnyak, who spent the second half of last season on loan to Fulham, has signed on a free transfer with Reading. Pogrbnyak scored six goals in 12 matches with Reading after netting 15 goals in 68 fixtures for Stuttgart.


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Gerry Wittmann

Gerry is the founder of the Bundesliga Fanatic. Besides loving German football, he also enjoys the NBA, collecting jerseys and LPs, his pets and wishes he had more time for fishing, bicycling and learning the bass guitar.

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