It’s that time of year when clubs go in search of the players who they think will bolster their squad as teams look to improve for the second-half of the Bundesliga campaign. With less than two weeks to go until the transfer window is closed for business, there have already been some shrewd captures.
Leon Goretzka: Bayern Munich from Schalke
Bayern Munich have prised Schalke’s highly-regarded midfielder, Leon Goretzka, away from the club, with the 22-year-old set to join Jupp Heynckes’ squad this summer. The German international’s contract with Munich runs until 2022, after his existing contract at Schalke was set to expire at the end of the season. Goretzka will have to be on the top of his game to break into Munich’s star-studded squad, yet the young midfielder has impressed many as he racked up a century of appearances at Schalke, including Joachim Low.
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) January 19, 2018
Nigel De Jong: Mainz from Galatasaray
Many will remember him for his outrageous challenge on Xabi Alonso during the 2010 World Cup final-more suited for karate than football. De Jong left his stud marks on the Spanish midfielder’s chest that day, but now he will be looking to get stuck into Bundesliga attackers, albeit more conventionally, having joined Mainz from Galatasaray. The former Hamburg, Manchester City and AC Milan midfielder is signed on until August 2018, and will bring experience as well as a combative, no-nonsense presence to the Mainz team for the remainder of the season.
Mario Gomez: Stuttgart from Wolfsburg
Having played 156 games for Stuttgart from 2003 until 2009, scoring a highly impressive 87 goals in that time, club legend Mario Gomez has returned to his boyhood club after nine years away. The German striker scored 18 goals in 37 games for Wolfsburg in 2016-17, and will look to continue his impressive eye for goal at Stuttgart, having also scored 75 goals during his four years at Bayern Munich. The 32 year-old is signed on until 2020 for an undisclosed fee.
Vincent Koziello: Cologne from Nice
Having signed striker Simon Terodde from Stuttgart, Cologne were quick to follow this up with the capture of highly-rated French midfielder, Vincent Koziello, from Nice as they look to avoid relegation. The 22 year-old central midfielder, who has scored two goals in four appearances for the French under 21s, has signed a four-and-a-half year contract, reportedly in the region of three million euros.
Renato Steffen: Wolfsburg from Basel
26 year-old attacking midfielder Renato Steffen follows in the footsteps of Ricardo Rodriguez, Timm Klose and Diego Benaglio as a Swiss representative at Wolfsburg. Signed on until 2021, the creative talent was part of the Basel side who progressed to the last 16 of the Champions League this season. As an added bonus, he became the 6000th player to feature in the history of the Bundesliga top flight after being signed.
A piece of #Bundesliga history ?
Renato #Steffen has become the 6,000th player to appear in Germany’s top flight.
— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) January 15, 2018
Manuel Akanji: Borussia Dortmund from Basel
Centre-back Manuel Akanji followed in Steffen’s footsteps by leaving Basel for the Bundesliga. It has to be said that Basel’s exploits in the Champions League this season has certainly caught the eye of approving Bundesliga bosses. The 22 year-old will fight for a place in Peter Stoger’s side, but will face stiff competition from Marc Barta, Sokatis and Omer Toprak if he is to get his chance. However, with the Swiss international signed on until 2022, it is certainly a long-term investment for Dortmund.
Marko Pjaca: Schalke from Juventus
Signed on loan from Italian giants Juventus until the end of the season, Marko Pjaca will line-up on the wing for Schalke. The 22 year-old has recovered from a cruciate ligament injury, and will want a good run of games in the Bundesliga in order to secure his place in Croatia’s World Cup squad.