Shaqiri Headed to Inter Milan
As reported by the Bundesliga’s official site, the Guardian and La Gazzetta dello Sport, Bayern Munich midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri will be signing with famed Italian side Inter Milan shortly after a transfer deal said to be valued at between 15 and 18 million euros. Following his medical, the talented Swiss international will sign a contract with Inter through 2019.
Shaqiri, 23, has certainly shown his value at Bayern but has desired more playing time on Pep Guardiola’s star-studded squad. Since joining the Bavarians in the summer of 2012 from Swiss side FC Basel, the 5’7″ attacker has scored 17 times in 80 matches in all competitions for Bayern, displaying a combination of power, speed and technical skills that make him difficult to stop. But during the first half of the current season, Shaqiri has only seen 337 minutes of Bundesliga action in seven appearances.
Inter’s acquisition of the midfielder continues a trend of bringing a Bundesliga flavor to the 18-time Serie A champions, as the club recently brought in former Bayern and Köln attacker Lukas Podolski from Arsenal, who was with the Inter this weekend in their match with Juventus.
In other Bayern news, the club has loaned young defender Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has been loaned to sixth-place FC Augsburg for the remainder of the season. The 19 year-old Dane has made 17 appearances for Bayern as well as representing his country at the senior level on five occasions.
Dutt Takes Over Sporting Director Job at Stuttgart
Robin Dutt, fired earlier in the fall as coach of Werder Bremen, will take on a new role, that of Sporting Director at VfB Stuttgart. Dutt, who also coached at Stuttgarter Kickers, SC Freiburg and Bayer 04 Leverkusen, will have his first crack at being the sporting director at a Bundesliga club, though he does have a year of experience as the Sporting Director of the DFB.
The 49 year-old native of Koln will have his work cut out for him, as he and Coach Huub Stevens are tasked to dig the Swabians out of the hole they’ve dug during a Hinrunde that saw them only gain 17 points in 17 matches. Against the backdrop of a disillusioned fan base, the two must find a way to not only survive relegation but build a talented roster and receive more spirited efforts from a veteran squad that often seems to sleepwalk during matches.
Dutt takes on his new job with eyes wide open. He commented
The club has some big challenges ahead of them, in the ever-changing Bundesliga,. In the short-term we are going to invest everything into staying up this season in the Bundesliga. I have already been talking a lot to the players and to the coach Huub Stevens
Leverkusen Sign Defender Ramalho
Bayer 04 Leverkusen will be bringing in Red Bull Salzburg defender Andre Ramalho on a free transfer this summer in a deal that will last for four years. The 22 year-old Brazilian played under current Leverkusen manager Roger Schmidt when both were at Salzburg.
Ramalho was part of the 2013/2014 RB Salzburg side that captured both the Austrian Bundesliga crown as well as the Austrian Cup. The 6-foot centerback has scored 5 times in almost 40 appearances in Austriawith the senior squad. Before being promoted, Ramalho played for Salzburg’s reserve team in the Austrian Regionalliga West.
Leverkusen Sporting Director Rudi Voller noted
Ramalho is a talented and young defensive all-rounder, and with our trainer he had two successful years at RB Salzburg
Mainz Bring in Christian Clemens
1. FSV Mainz 05 have acquired the services of Christian Clemens on loan from FC Schalke through the end of next season. The versatile attacker has played in 28 matches in all competitions for Die Knappen since transferring from 1.FC Koln during the summer of 2013, but has yet to find a secure spot in Schalke’s lineup.
Clemens, 23, is a native of Koln and began his involvement with the Billy Goats in 2001, working his way up the ranks to a senior squad debut against St. Pauli in December, 2010. Following that, Clemens appeared in 96 matches in all competitions for his hometown club, scoring 14 goals. Clemens has also represented Germany 38 times at the youth international level.
Mainz Coach Kaspar Hjulmand commented
Christian Clemens’ dynamism and pace makes him a classic winger who also has an excellent shot on him. With the quality he’s got, he’s the player we were looking for to strengthen our squad
Earlier during winter break Mainz signed defender Pierre Bengtsson from FC Copenhagen. The 26 year-old left back began his career in his native Sweden with AIK in 2006 before heading to Denmark, signing with FC Nordsjællandin 2009, where he won a Danish Cup He transferred to Copenhagen after two seasons, and was part of two Danish SuperLiga squads. Bengtsson debuted for Sweden’s senior national team squad in 2011, and has since earned 18 caps.
Wollscheid to Stoke City
Mainz defender Philipp Wollscheid will spend the remainder of the 2014/2015 season in England, on loan to Premier League side Stoke City. The 25 year-old, who has shown enough quality in the past to earn caps to the German national team, has played sparingly this season, featuring in only seven of Mainz fixtures, with a paltry total of 208 minutes on the pitch.
Wollscheid, a native of the Saarland, began his career with SV Rot-Weiss Hasborn-Dautweiler in 2007 before joining 1. FC Saarbrücken. He left for 1. FC Nürnberg in 2009, and after playing with their reserve side made his Bundesliga debut in November,2010. The 6’4″ central defender signed a five-year deal with Bayer Leverkusen during the summer of 2012, but was loaned to Mainz at the beginning of this season.
Wollscheid seems glad to join the Potters as he commented
It wasn’t a difficult decision for me to make really, because for me it is the best league in the world and it is the most famous league in the world.
I had a couple of days to think things through, but it was easy. I sat down with my friends and my family and decided that this would be a great move to make.
Of course I sat down with the manager here a couple of times, before and after Christmas, and he convinced me to come here. What he had to say was really impressive so it was easy to say yes to him.
Mark Hughes’ Stoke City side currently sit in 11th place in the Premier League table. The Stoke roster contains former Bundesliga players Mame Biram Diouf and Marko Arnautović as well as German-born defender Robert Huth.
Rodriguez Re-Ups with Wolfsburg
Second-place VfL Wolfsburg have been able to re-sign highly sought fullback Ricardo Rodriguez, 22, by extending his contract for three more seasons. The Swiss international has been rumored to be a transfer target of both Bayern Munich and Manchester United, as his outstanding play has been a significant reason for Wolfsburg’s heady place in the Bundesliga table. Rodriguez has featured in 85 league matches for the Wolves since joining the Volkswagen club from FC Zurich. The son of a Swiss father and Chilean mother, he has earned 27 caps for Switzerland and was a prominent member of their 2014 World Cup squad.
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