Hertha Berlin sign World Cup winner Khedira, Bayern Munich loan out pair


Berlin, Feb. 2, 2021 Former Germany midfielder Sami Khedira joined Hertha Berlin on Monday in what was the big signing on Bundesliga transfer deadline day.

Champions Bayern Munich also sent young talents Chris Richards and Joshua Zirkzee out on loan.

Khedira was announced shortly after the 6 p.m (1700 GMT) transfer deadline by Hertha Berlin, with all the details of his move from Italian champions Juventus confirmed by the cut-off.

Hertha Berlin also secured the services of Serbia international midfielder Nemanja Radonjic on loan from French side Olympique Marseille.

Richards and Zirkzee meanwhile left Bayern Munich on loan to get match experience at Hoffenheim and Parma respectively.

This was on a day which was quiet by previous deadline standards, as clubs stayed cautious amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Hertha Berlin are outside the Bundesliga danger zone only on goal difference after a 3-1 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.

Experienced 2014 World Cup winner Khedira, who however has not played since June, is therefore a major capture.

“In Sami Khedira we are getting a atop player who has been under contract with some of Europe’s top clubs,” said Hertha Berlin sporting director Arne Friedrich.

“He will help us immediately with his experience in the UEFA Champions League, Serie A, La Liga and also with the national team at the World Cup and European Championships,”

Khedira, 33, last played in the Bundesliga with VfB Stuttgart before joining Real Madrid in 2010.

“Hertha Berlin made great efforts to sign me and offered me the opportunity to return to the Bundesliga,” he said.

“I feel great physically and will like to use the experience I have gained in recent years to help the team and lead Hertha Berlin to more sports success.”

Hertha Berlin did not give immediate details of the move for Khediria, whose Juventus contract was set to expire in summer.

While Khedira is a high-profile capture for Hertha Berlin, Bundesliga clubs have generally been shy during the winter transfer period due to financial issues caused by the coronavirus.

Record champions Bayern Munich and some others have not made any signings but the Bavarians agreed a deal with Hoffenheim and let Richards go.

“The aim is to offer the 20-year-old defensive player the opportunity to gain more match practice in the German top-flight,” Bayern Munich said in a statement, while Hoffenheim said Richards will “cover the injury-ravaged defence.”

“I’m looking forward to taking the next steps in my development in Hoffenheim. It’s important I pick up more match practice in the Bundesliga now,” the player said.

Richards will reunite with coach Sebastian Hoeness after they worked together last season when Bayern Munich under-23 team won the third league title.

Another Bayern Munich talent, striker Leon Dajaku, was sent on loan to Union Berlin in January also in order to get more playing time in the Bundesliga while 19-year-old Zirkzee made the move to Serie A strugglers Parma.

“We hope that he can deliver something in Parma so (that) they’re not relegated,” Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said.

Parma have an option to make the move permanent for 15 million euros (18.1 million dollars).

The biggest early deal of the window was RB Leipzig signing forward Dominik Szoboszlai from Red Bull Salzburg for 20 million euros as they attempt a first league and German Cup title.

Eintracht Frankfurt, who in January brought back striker Luka Jovic on loan from Real Madrid, said on Monday the have signed 18-year-old striker Ali Akman from Turkish second-division side Bursaspor.

He will however join the club in summer 2021 with a contract until June 2025.

Bottom club Schalke 04 have brought old faces as they fight against relegation.

Sead Kolasinac on loan from Arsenal and veteran Klaas-Jan Huntelaar on a free transfer have the task to keep the club in the top-flight.

Schalke 04’s talent Matthew Hoppe meanwhile signed his first professional contract and extended his deal with the club until 2023.

The 19-year-old made headlines with five goals in three Bundesliga matches last month, including a hat-trick in their lone season win against Hoffenheim.

“Matthew Hoppe has taken his chance and shown that he has the potential to permanently establish himself in the Bundesliga,” the club’s head of sports and communication Jochen Schneider said.

Hoppe added: “The last few weeks have been like a dream. I am extremely thankful to everyone at Schalke 04 for giving me this chance.”

Second-last Mainz boosted their firepower with striker Robert Glatzel arriving on loan from English Championship side Cardiff City.

Augsburg signed Slovakia midfielder Laszlo Benes on loan from Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Relegation strugglers Arminia Bielefeld loaned Dutch attacker Michel Vlap from Anderlecht and sent Sebastian Mueller out on loan to Osnabrueck.

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