Bayern Munich: Pizarro Stays, van Buyten Leaves
Bayern Munich announced that Claudio Pizarro, the all-time leader in Bundesliga scoring among foreign players, will be back with the double-champions for the upcoming season, while fellow Bayern veteran, central defender Daniel van Buyten, has announced that he will not continue with the club following the expiration of his contract this summer.
Pizarro, 35, has found a perfect niche with the Bavarians as a substitute on his second stint with the club, and scored 24 goals in 54 competitive matches for Bayern over the past two seasons. The Peruvian international arrived in Germany for the 1999/2000 season, signing with Werder Bremen from Peruvian club Alianza Lima. The striker’s incredible career includes a year in the EPL with Chelsea along with his two stints with both Werder and Bayern, and he’s represented Peru 71 times, scoring 19 goals.
Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said.
This season, Claudio has once again shown his goal-scoring instinct and his importance for the team. We are delighted that we can continue to bank on him
Meanwhile, van Buyten, 36, will keep his options open following this summer’s World Cup, after which he’ll retire from international football, having represented Belgium on 77 occasions. The towering center back began his senior-squad career with Charleroi in 1998 and has played for Standard Liege, Marseille, Manchester City and Hamburger SV before joining the Bavarians for the 2006/2007 campaign. He’s played in 219 Bundesliga matches for the two German clubs, with close to another 100 competitive matches in Europe and the Pokal combined while in Germany. Van Buyten also has been a been a force in attack near the opposition’s goal, scoring 20 times while with Bayern. He hasn’t disclosed his future plans, although there is speculation that he may sign with either of a pair of promoted clubs, 1. FC Köln or RB Leipzig.
In other Bayern news, footballing legend Franz Beckenbauer as been named the club’s “international brand ambassador” as the Bavarians try to raise the profile of the club in the United States. Opening an office in New York City in April, Bayern will be playing its first matches in the U.S. in ten years with early August matches against Chivas de Guadalajara in NYC and the MLS All-Stars in Portland, Oregon.
‘Der Kaiser’ played for the New York Cosmos during his storied career and is the perfect individual to grow the Bayern brand worldwide, and particularly in the U.S., where clubs from the EPL and other European leagues have raced ahead of German clubs in bringing their teams to play exhibitions in North America over the last decade. Rummenigge noted that “Our objective is to increase awareness of the Bayern Munich brand name around the world. Furthermore, we naturally wish to gain a financial benefit from this step.”
American International Timothy Chandler May Sign with Eintracht Frankfurt
German-American Timothy Chandler looks to return to the club he started his career with following this summer’s World Cup, as the longtime 1. FC Nürnberg back will reportedly sign with Thomas Schaaf’s Eintracht Frankfurt club. Chandler, who has played 95 Bundesliga contests since January, 2011 for Der Club, appeared in 50 reserve squad matches for his hometown club beginning in 2008 prior to joining Nürnberg. Der Club’s Sporting Director Martin Bader admitted that the Frankfurt club had been in talks with Chandler, who is looked upon as a replacement for the departing Sebastian Jung, who’s headed to Wolfsburg.
Chandler, 24, also has 11 caps for the American national team and made Jurgen Klinsmann’s final roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Chandler hadn’t played for the Americans in 15 months, but joins German-based players Fabian Johnson, John Anthony Brooks and Julian Green as part of the U.S. squad that will face off against the German national team in Group play.
HSV Sign Zoltan Stieber
Hamburger SV barely survived relegation from the Bundesliga, as they edged past SpVgg Greuther Fürth on the margin of an away goal during the two-legged playoff series last week. Now, the red-shorts have signed one of Fürth’s best players, left-winger Zoltan Stieber, 25, to a contract running through the 2016/2017 season. Stieber brings German first division experience to Hamburg, having played in 16 Bundesliga matches for Fürth two seasons ago in addition to 7 matches with Mainz in 201/2012.
Stieber has worked his way up the professional ranks, starting with Aston Villa’s reserves during the 2006/2007 season, though his only senior appearances for the Birmingham club was during their 2007 summer tour of the U.S. A Hungarian international, Stieber subsequently played for Yeovil Town, TuS Koblenz and Alemannia Aachen before joining Mainz, During the 2010/2011 season, he led 2. Bundesliga with 17 assists, and helped Fürth to third place this past season with 8 goals in 31 league matches.
HSV Sporting Director Oliver Kreutzer commented that
We are delighted that Zoltan opted to join the HSV. He is a versatile attacking player with quick movements, good skills and a lot of pace. Zoltan perfectly fits our profile, because we want to bring more pace into our attacking game
Diouf Leaving Hannover
Senegalese striker Mame Biram Diouf will not continue with Hannover 96, the club announced. Diouf is believed to be signing with English club Stoke City, although there has been no official signing announcement yet. The striker signed with the 96ers in January, 2012 from Manchester United and has gone on to score 35 tiues in 82 matches in all competitions for Hannover during the last two and half seasons, although he only featured 20 times for the club this past campaign.
Second division club FC Union Berlin took a step forward in building their roster for next season by signing FC Augsburg goalkeeper Mohamed Amsif Friday to a three-year deal on a free transfer. A Dusseldorf-born Moroccan international, Amsif started two games for Augsburg this season as Alex Manninger and Marwin Hitz enjoyed the majority of starts in goal for the club. Amsif made six saves and allowed five goals. The 25 year-old, however, has played in 25 Bundelsiga games for Augsburg since joining the club from Schalke’s reserves in 2010 and is expected to compete with former Hoffenheim keeper Daniel Haas for the starting duties in Union’s net.
The Berlin side will be without striker Simon Terodde, though, in the future as the 26 year-old has signed with VfL Bochum. Terodde scored 25 goals in all competitions for the Iron Ones over his three seasons in the capital. The 6’3″ attacker began his career with MSV Duisburg’s reserves in 2007, and also featured for Fortuna Düsseldorf and FC Köln before heading to Berlin.
Fellow Bundesliga 2 side Düsseldorf have announced the signing on a permanent deal Charlison Benschop, who led F95 with 12 goals last season while on loan from Stade Brest. The Dutchman, 24, began his career with RKC Waalwijk and also played for AZ Alkmaar. F95 also announced recently that captain Andreas ‘Lumpy’ Lambertz has re-signed with the club, while Fortuna’s teenaged midfielder Samuel Piette earned another senior cap for Canada this past week. The native of Repentigny, Quebec was an 84th minute substitute Tuesday against Moldava. Other German-based players who featured for the Canadians Tuesday include MSV Duisburg’s Nikolas Ledgerwood, André Hainault of VfR Aalen, Adam Straith of Wehen Wiesbaden and Randy Edwini-Bonsu, who finished the season with Stuttgarter Kickers after featuring for Eintracht Braunschweig.
It seems that Manchester United and their new manager, Louis van Gaal, have lost interest in their efforts to sign Bayern midfielder Toni Kroos, whom Pep Guardiola wants to keep. Meanwhile, Bayern’s superb attacker Arjen Robben has stated that he has no desire to move from the Bavarian club.
Borussia Dortmund still appear to be in the hunt for 24 year-old Italian striker Ciro Immobile. The Torino forward led Serie A in goals this past season with 22, and his contract is co-owned by Torino and Juventus. Bayer Leverkusen’s Italian back, Giuliio Donati, is pushing for his former Italy U-21 teammate to join him in the Bundesliga. But BvB Sporting Director Michael Zorc denied that a deal already has been signed, with the Italian clubs looking for a transfer fee speculated to be in the range of 19 million Euros for the talented frontman, perhaps more than the Germans are willing to pay.