Bastos joins Schalke on loan, Lakic moves to Frankfurt | News | DW | 29.01.2013
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Bastos joins Schalke on loan, Lakic moves to Frankfurt

Struggling Bundesliga side Schalke have brought in midfielder Michel Bastos on loan, softening the blow of Lewis Holtby's departure. Meanwhile, Eintracht Frankfurt, in search of a striker, have signed Srdan Lakic.

Sporting Director Horst Held said Tuesday the Schalke were "very happy" to welcome Bastos, 29, to Gelsenkirchen.

"He is an internationally experienced player who has special skills and can help us immediately," Horst added. "He is also eligible to play in the Champions League."

Bastos joins the Royal Blues on loan from French club Olympique Lyonnais until June 14. He is the second Brazilian to join the club in the winter transfer window. Raffael, formerly of Hertha Berlin, was brought in on loan from Dynamo Kyiv earlier this month.

After beginning his professional career in the Netherlands with Feyenoord and Excelsior, Bastos returned to Brazil in 2003. He spent three years playing for Atletico Paranaense, Gremio and Figueirense.

But like Bastos' Brazilian teammates Luis Fabiano and Thiago Silva, it took a second stint in Europe to firmly establish himself as a top flight footballer.

In 2006, Bastos moved to French side Lille, and a switch to Lyon three years later coincided with his inclusion in the Brazil national team.

Bastos played 10 matches in all for Brazil between 2009 and 2010, including at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Capable of playing anywhere on the left flank and in attacking midfield, Bastos' arrival softens somewhat the blow of losing Lewis Holtby. The talented 22-year-old left for Tottenham Hotspur on Monday, leaving a creative hole in the center of Schalke's attack.

Lakic comes to Frankfurt

Also on Tuesday, Eintracht Frankfurt announced the signing of Croatian striker Srdan Lakic. He joins the club from Wolfsburg on loan through June 2014.

Kaiserslautern's Srdjan Lakic, right, celebrates scoring his side's first goal with his teammate Christian Tiffert during the German first division Bundesliga soccer match between FC Cologne and FC Kaiserslautern in Cologne, Germany, on Saturday Aug. 21, 2010. (apn Photo/Hermann J. Knippertz)

Lakic (R) formed a prolific attacking partnership with Christian Tiffert at Kaiserslautern

"We are happy that the transfer is finally complete," said Frankfurt Sporting Director Bruno Hübner. "In Lakic we have signed a striker who is strong in the air, who fits the team profile of Eintracht Frankfurt and who meets the requirements of head coach Armin Veh."

Lakic first arrived in Germany in 2006 when he signed for Hertha Berlin. But it was a three-year stint at Kaiserslautern from beginning in 2008 where he made his name in the Bundesliga, scoring 16 goals for the newly-promoted club in the 2010-11 season.

A 2011 move to Wolfsburg never quite panned out for the Croatian, who has failed to score in the league after leaving Kaiserslautern.

Lakic joins a Frankfurt side sorely in need of a striker. The high-flying, newly-promoted side sits in fourth place in the Bundesliga, but has relied heavily on midfielder Alex Meier to score its goals.

If he can regain his old form, Lakic just might be the key to Frankfurt's realizing their champions league ambitions in the second half of the season.