As the January transfer window closed, most Bundesliga clubs were comparatively modest in their wheeling and dealing, with the exception of Borussia Dortmund. But there were two late arrivals from the Premier League.
Nothing to do with the Bundesliga, this one, but a potentially significant signing for Tottenham Hotspur. Spurs have picked up disgruntled Brazilian winger Lucas Moura from Paris Saint-Germain. One of the first superstars to join the modern PSG, Lucas has been sidelined by various other acquisitions, not least his countryman Neymar and Germany's Julian Draxler. Lucas wasn't ready to debut against Manchester United on Wednesday, although Spurs didn't seem to miss him, beating Jose Mourinho's men 2-0.
Beside the big news surrounding Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Michy Batshuayi, Bundesliga clubs remained somewhat active on the last day of the transfer window. Here's a summary of some of the other German comings and goings:
Kosovan midfielder Milot Rashica, 21, has joined Werder Bremen from Vitesse Arnhem.
Wolfsburg have made the first move of what's sure to be a busy day. Martin Schmidt's side have captured the signature of Bayer Leverkusen forward Admir Mehmedi.
The Switzerland international moves on from Leverkusen after two and a half years with the club in which he's been in and out of the the side. Mehmedi started the season with a goal and an assist in his first two games but the emergence of Leon Bailey combined with the improvements in Lucas Alario and Kevin Volland means he's now surplus to requirements. The size of the fee is not yet clear but Mehmedi has signed a contract until 2022 and will wear number 22 for his new club.
Borussia Dortmund are operating a one-in, one-out policy on the door, it seems. But still there's no news on Aubameyang. Two separate Spanish deals were confirmed on Tuesday evening. Dortmund have bought Barcelona youngster Sergio Gomez, still just 17, for his release fee of €3 million. Sporting director Michael Zorc described Gomez as "doubtless one of the best players of his age in the world," saying there had been a lot of competition for the versatile young attacker. Meanwhile, Dortmund's Spanish defender Marc Bartra is moving on to Real Betis after an emotional 18 months at the club. Bartra's spell in Dortmund was punctuated by the bomb attack on the team bus last season; the Spaniard was the only BVB player to be seriously injured in the blast.
Schalke have announced the loan signing of left back Abdul Rahman Baba. The Ghanaian, who spent the 2016/17 season at Schalke has joined until the end of the season.
Baba played 21 competitive games in the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and the Europa League in his last spell in Germany after initially leaving Augsburg for Chelsea in August 2015.
On, off and now on again - Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's move to Arsenal has been one of the most drawn out transfer sagas of the winter but it appears that the move will now be completed before the transfer window closes. Both clubs have reportedly agreed a three-year deal, but it looks like Borussia Dortmund will only sign off on the deal when they have secured a replacement.
According to a respected Belgian football journalist, Chelsea have been contacted by BVB about Michy Batshuayi's availability. If that move happens, Aubameyang's is expected to follow. German mass-circulation daily BILD reports that the transfer could well be announced today.
The much-anticipated possible move of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund to EPL club Arsenal may have stalled. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told reporters in London on Friday that any deal for the prolific Gabon striker was "far from close." However, he didn't rule out a move before the transfer window closes on Wednesday.
"At the moment, we stay where we are," he said. "We keep our players. We have added [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan and we have lost Alexis [Sanchez], so our squad is stable. Will anything else happen? At the moment I would say I don't know. It's still possible but we are far from being close."
German media have reported that Dortmund have turned down a second Arsenal bid of €58 million ($72 million) for the 28-year-old, whose deal at BVB runs until 2012. Dortmund are reportedly demanding at least €70 million to part with their top goal scorer. Meanwhile, Aubameyang appears to have worked hard enough in training this week to get himself back into BVB coach Peter Stöger's good books and could well be in the squad for Saturday's match against Freiburg.
Serbian defender Neven Subotic has left Borussia Dortmund for Ligue 1 side St Etienne. Subotic, 29, won the German title with Dortmund in 2011 and was part of the league and cup double winning side a year later. He was also part of Jürgen Klopp's team who reached the Champions League final in 2013. However, he has struggled to earn his place in the side due to injuries and spent the second half of last season on loan to Cologne. Subotic joined Dortmund from Mainz in 2008 and moves to St Etienne on a two-and-a-half-year deal.
Teenage talent Jacob Bruun Larsen (19) has joined Stuttgart on loan from Borussia Dortmund for the rest of the season. Larsen reunites with Hannes Wolf, who coached him at youth level. With Carlos Mane out until the end of the season, Wolf is keen on more depth in attack.
After delivering the cross for the derby winner, Cologne have lost Konstantin Rausch. In the hope of improving his chances of making Russia's 2018 World Cup squad, the 27-year-old left back has signed for Dynamo Moscow on a contract until 2020.
Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke confirmed Arsenal submitted a request for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. "We won't comment on the sums being mentioned in England,"Watzke said to Ruhr Nachrichten. After playing five-a-side with friends last night while the team battled for a point in Berlin, is the striker's time at BVB coming to an end?
Eintracht Frankfurt have signed U21 Bosnian talent Marijan Cavar. The 19-year-old midfielder is said to be a composed playmaker. Another star to add to the international group at Frankfurt, Cavar signs a deal until 2021.
Lars Bender has extended his contract at Bayer Leverkusen until 2021.
The worst kept transfer news of the last six months has been confirmed - Schalke's Leon Goretzka will join Bayern Munich in the summer of 2018. Will leave on a free (bad news for Bochum Goretzka's first club) and signs a four-year deal. Schalke are on the verge of bringing left back Abdul Rahman Baba (23) to the club on a long loan.
Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger is adamant star man Mesut Özil will not be leaving the Premier League club this winter. The 29-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and has been linked with a number of clubs, including Real Madrid. Wenger responded with a simple "yes" when asked if Özil would be staying beyond January.
Augsburg left-back Kostas Stafylidis is expected to sign on loan for Stoke City within the next 24 hours.
New Stoke coach Paul Lambert is hoping to wrap up his first signing. Stafylidis
"He's a really good left-back and has lots of energy which we need," Lambert said.
Stafylidis has fallen out of favor under Augsburg coach Manuel Baum and hasn't started a match all season.
Cologne have signed a new central midfielder - Vincent Koziello from Nice. The reported fee is €3m and the 22-year-old has signed a deal until 2022. Oddly, Koziello will wear number 41 but was nevertheless Armin Veh's "primary target" during the window. Also worth noting is that Koziello has played for France U21s with the likes of Jean-Kevin Augustin and Ousmane Dembele. If he has anything like that kind of quality, maybe Cologne's great escape is possible after all?
Despite strong interest from Juventus, Liverpool midfielder Emre Can says he could still stay at Liverpool. The German international is out of contract at the end of the season and it was widely believed he'd be heading to Serie A. But he says nothing is decided at this point.
“My agent is looking after everything but I am here until the summer,” Can said. “I haven’t signed anything with anyone. I am talking with everyone. Of course I am talking with Liverpool. Why not? I still have a contract here. It is an amazing club.
“What can I say? My agent does the rest. I just concentrate on the scene, on my performance and the football. I will give everything for this team.”
Schalke's forward Donis Avdijaj has joined Dutch outfit Roda JC on loan for the rest of the season. The Osnabrück-born frontman has yet to make an appearance for the Royal Blues under Domenico Tedesco and spent two year on loan at Strum Graz between 2104 and 2016.
Avdijaj's contract expires in eighteen months and Schalke said in a statement that "the two parties wish to retain confidentiality regarding the finer details of the deals."
Borussia Dortmund have moved to strengthen their defensive ranks with the signing of Swiss international center back Manuel Akanji from Basel for a fee thought to be about €21.5 million ($26.2m).
The 22-year-old has won four caps for his country and played every game as Basel progressed from their Champions League group. He will wear the number 16 shirt at Dortmund.
“I felt very comfortable in the talks with Dortmund’s decision-makers," Akanji said. "It was a decision of the heart. I’ve always liked the football that’s being played at Dortmund. I’m looking forward to the time here and will give my all.”
Dortmund's sporting director Michael Zorc said Akanji had been "in the sights" of a number of European clubs and believes the player "still has room to grow further." He could make his debut in Dortmund's Friday night match against Hertha Berlin.
After weeks of speculation, RB Leipzig have confirmed that Naby Keita will remain with the Bundesliga side until the summer, scuppering any chances Liverpool had of bringing the deal forward in January.
Reports in recent weeks had suggested that the Reds would pay a premium on their current deal with the German outfit that would see the midfielder move to Anfield this month rather than wait until the summer. However, ahead of the Matchday 18 clash with FC Schalke 04, the club moved to allay fears the Guinean international would leave before the end of the season.
Sporting director Ralf Rangnick: "We won't allow Liverpool to sign him early, even though they have shown renewed interest to bring him in during this transfer window."
Dennis Geiger has extended his contract with Hoffenheim until 2022. The 19-year-old midfielder is seen as Sebastian Rudy's successor at the club after the German left to Bayern Munich. Geiger has scored twice in 13 Bundesliga outings in his debut top-flight campaign.
Widespread media reports in both England and Germany suggested early on Thursday that Liverpool, who have just lost Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona, want to bring forward the transfer of Naby Keita. But RB Leipzig quickly moved to quell speculation about the midfielder, who agreed to join the English club at the end of the season.
"There is nothing new about this situation and so that speculation is not true," the club told the BBC. "Nothing has changed and our position hasn't changed from before regarding this transfer."
Earlier in the day, German newspaper Bild claimed the Bundesliga club are open to the possibility of bringing the transfer forward in order to comply with UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules, though the fact that he is cup tied for the Champions League may put off the Anfield outfit.
Wolfsburg have added to their ranks by securing the signature of attacking midfielder Renato Steffen from Swiss champions Basel. The 26-year-old joins for a fee in the region of €2 million (2.4 million) and has signed a contract that will tie him to the club until 2021.
Steffen scored 35 goals and provided 36 assists in 149 Swiss Super League appearances and has fairly extensive European experience, as well as five caps for Switzerland.
Wolfsburg's sporting director Olaf Rebbe said the club had been tracking the player for some time, initially trying to sign him in the summer and expects Steffen to add quality to the squad.
"I have consistently emphasized, that we will only become active on the transfer market when we can sign a player who can make us better," he said. "Renato Steffen is exactly that type of player,"
Schalke have announced the future signing of Mark Uth from Hoffenheim on a free transfer. The 26-year-old, who is the most prolific German in the league this season with nine goals, will sign for Schalke when his contract expires at the end of the current season.
"I'm confident that a move to Schalke 04 is the perfect next step for me. I'm really looking forward to tackling this new challenge from the summer," said the striker. "Until then, I will of course be fully focused on my role at TSG, and will continue to help the club reach their goals with commitment and passion."
Uth began his career with hometown club Cologne but only turned pro when he moved to Heerenveen in the Netherlands. He returned to Germany in 2015 with Hoffenheim and scored in both legs of their Champions League qualification loss to Liverpool at the start of this season.
Uth is the second first-team player that Hoffenheim have lost on a free transfer in the last two seasons, after Sebastian Rudy was allowed to join Bayern Munich on a Bosman ahead of the current campaign.
Another transfer window, another slew of rumors about the future of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. This time around, all the talk is that the Gabonese striker, who has 13 goals in his 15 league games this term, is on his way to China, with Chinese outlets reporting that Guangzhou Evergrande and rivals Beijing Guoan are looking to tie up a €70 million ($85 million) deal.
Aubameyang, 28, has come in to conflict with Dortmund after the club suspended him for a match in November following his decision to film a freestyle video on club property without the required permission.
However, China's football association (CFA) warned on Tuesday that it would punish teams who flout its transfer rules, which include a 100 percent tax on incoming transfers of foreign players.
The CFA too did not name the striker but made a clear reference to the Dortmund frontman and the two clubs.
"The news of two clubs suspected of engaging in a bidding war on a transfer has caused social concern," it said in a statement, adding that it had asked them to explain.
Arturo Vidal, 30, appears to be staying put, at least until the end of the season. Speaking after a friendly match in Qatar on Saturday, Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes said that "neither Arturo Vidal nor any other players" will depart the defending Bundesliga champions during the January transfer window.
According to multiple reports, London-based club Chelsea, who is managed by Antonio Conte, has interest in the Chilean midfielder. Conte coached Vidal from 2011-2014 while the two were at Juventus in Italy. Vidal's contract with Bayern expires at the end of next season.
Liverpool attacker Philippe Coutinho has completed a move to Barcelona, signing a contract until June 2023 with a €400 million ($481 million) buyout clause.
Reports from British media have suggested that Liverpool, who acquired Coutinho five years ago from Italian side Inter Milan, will receive a €160 million ($193 million) fee from Barcelona. If true, that would make the Brazilian forward the second most expensive player ever behind Neymar, whom the Catalan club sold to Paris Saint-Germain before the 2017-18 season.
"It is no secret that Philippe has wanted this move to happen since July, when Barcelona first made their interest known," Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp said in a club statement. "Philippe was insistent with me, the owners and even his teammates this was a move he was desperate to make happen."
Coutinho, 25, has seven goals and seven assists in 14 appearances in the English Premier League. His record is even better in the Champions League as he helped Liverpool qualify for the knockout stages after five goals and two assists in five group stage games.
Schalke have completed the signing of Marko Pjaca. The 22-year-old Croatian striker joins the Royal Blues on loan from Italian champions Juventus. Pjaca has spoken with former Schalke captain and current Juventus defender Benedikt Höwedes before agreeing to join the club. "He told me great things about the club," Pjaca told Sky Germany.
Reports in Germany suggest that negotiations for a deal that would see Manchester United's Henrikh Mkhitaryan rejoining Borussia Dortmund have "intensified." According to local outlet Ruhr Nachrichten, the deal depends on two conditions: First, United must drop the club's asking price for the winger, and second of all, the Armenian himself must agree to a pay cut. BVB's interest in Basel defender Manuel Akanji has cooled due to the Swiss club's asking price.
Schalke have confirmed the club's first signing for this transfer window. Nürnberg's 20-year-old striker Cedric Teuchert will join the club with immediate effect. Teuchert scored six goals in this season's 2. Bundesliga, and has made three appearances for Germany's U21 side.
Schalke's Leon Goretzka is reportedly on the verge of signing for Bayern Munich. The Germany midfielder's contract runs out at the end of the season, and will move to the Bundesliga champions on a free, according to BILD.
Schalke sporting director Christian Heidel said the player hasn't informed the club as to his decision. "I trust Leon and his agent, with whom I spoke yesterday," Heidel told German outlet SPORT1.
December 27, 2017
Reports in Germany suggest that Borussia Dortmund attacker Andre Schürrle could be joining Stuttgart on loan. The 2014 World Cup winner spent most of the first half of the season sitting on Dortmund's bench and that has to change if Schürrle hopes to be a part of Joachim Löw's Germany squad heading to the World Cup this summer. Stuttgart have already signed another Russia 2018 hopeful in Mario Gomez.
December 22, 2017
Another homecoming move in the Bundesliga. Mario Gomez is moving back to Stuttgart, where it all started for him. The reported fee is around three million euros ((three hundred and fifty six million dollars). 19-year-old striker Josip Brekalo's loan at Stuttgart has been terminated and he will return to Wolfsburg.
December 21, 2017
Bayer Leverkusen's Andre Ramalho will join Red Bull Salzburg in January, where he played between 2013 and 2015. The 25-year-old defender spent last season on loan at Mainz, but failed to make the grade at the Bay Arena.
Bayern Munich attacker Kingsley Coman has extended his contract at the club until 2023. "I feel very happy at Bayern and in Munich," said the Frenchman. The German champions have also confirmed they've signed Hoffenheim striker Sandro Wagner.
December 20, 2017
Bundesliga strugglers Mainz have brought back a familiar face in an effort to boost their scoring punch. Anthony Ujah has signed a contract with Mainz through the end of the 2020-21 season. The 27-year-old Nigerian, who spent the 2011-12 season at Mainz, returns to the Bundesliga from China, where he had joined Super League outfit Liaoning FC in 2016. Ujah has also had spells with Cologne and Werder Bremen.
Cologne's interim coach, Stefan Ruthenbeck, is to stay on in the job until the end of the season, the Bundesliga club announced on Wednesday. Armin Veh, the club's new general manager, said Ruthenbeck and his assistants had convinced him to keep them on through their work, saying that they had struck the right tone with the team and had shown themselves capable of resolving difficult situations.
"They have my trust, therefore we have reached a consensus to continue to work with this coaching staff," Veh said.
Bundesliga cellar dwellers Cologne have made their first signing of the winter break. Stuttgart striker Simon Terodde is rejoining the club he played for between 2009 and 2011. The 29-year-old Terodde has signed a contract that should keep him in Cologne through the end of the 2020-21 season.
"Simon Terodde is physically strong, has proven over the years that he is clinical in front of goal, and is a great guy," Cologne's new general manager, Armin Veh, said in a statement posted on the Rhineland club's website on Wednesday.
"I had two very nice years in Cologne and am really happy to return here. I made my first step as a professional footballer in Cologne and know all about the special atmosphere at the RheinEnergieSTADION," Terodde said. "Of course we have a difficult challenge awaiting us in the second half of the season, but we will do everything we can in order to maintain our place in the Bundesliga."
Terodde's 25 goals in the second division last season played a major role in Stuttgart earning promotion. However, this season, he has managed just three goals in 17 matches in the Bundesliga.
December 17, 2017
Hoffenheim striker Sandro Wagner appears to be set to sign on with Bayern Munich. The mass-circulation daily Bild and the sports bi-weekly Kicker have reported that it is essentially a done deal, with only the formalities to be finalized. The 30-year-old Wagner, who has seven caps for Germany, has four goals in his 11 Bundesliga appearances for Hoffenheim this season.