Nothing's official yet, but it seems that Kevin Grosskreutz is about to end his Turkish adventure and return to the Bundesliga. The former Dortmund icon looks headed to relegation-threatened Stuttgart.
The first full week of the winter transfer period opened with the news that struggling Stuttgart are in advanced negotiations to sign midfielder Kevin Grosskreutz, a key part of two Bundesliga title winning squads with Dortmund. The 27-year-old, who also won the World Cup with Germany, albeit as an unused substitute, is currently under contract with Galatasaray.
Grosskreutz became something of a curiosity this summer when the Turkish club registered his transfer from Dortmund belatedly with FIFA. As a result, football's governing body denied him permission to play for his new club until the winter.
It now looks as though the German may not take to the pitch for Galatasaray after all. Grosskreutz is rumored to have felt homesick in Turkey. Various media sources have put the transfer fee at 2.6 million euros.
Stuttgart have not commented on the reports. The Southern Germans got off to a rough start to the season, spending much of the first half of the campaign in the relegation zone and firing head coach Alexander Zorniger.
It remains to be seen whether Grosskreutz, who bagged 23 goals in 176 matches with Dortmund, will help address Stuttgart's most glaring weakness, wasted scoring opportunities. In any case, the sight of the Dortmund-born midfielder and self-professed fan of the yellow and black running out for Stuttgart will take some getting used to.
Hannover welcome Szalai, Frankfurt continue reboot
Another deal that's even further along is Hannover's loan of striker Adam Szalai from Hoffenheim. The Hungarian will join the Northern Germans when they begin winter training on Monday.
"We have reached terms with the player and Hoffenheim," said Hannover sports director Martin Bader. "He'll be at our practice grounds at 10AM."
Hannover will reportedly pay Hoffenheim a loan fee of 600,000 euros and have secured an option to buy Szalai for four million. The deal has potentially major ramifications for the relegation fight. Hanover are currently second-bottom in the table, one ahead point ahead of Hoffenheim, raising the question of why the last-placed team would help its nearest rival.
In a loan move that has been completed, Frankfurt announced that young defender Kaan Ayhan would join them from Schalke until the end of the season. The 21-year-old, who has struggled to get playing time at the Royal Blues, become the third player to join Frankfurt this winter, along with veteran playmaker Szabolcs Huszti and Mexican national midfielder Marco Fabian.
Frankfurt started the season brightly but faded, dropping to fourteenth in the table with only one win in their last seven league matches.