Schalke 04 have completed the signing of AC Milan striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar for a fee of 10.5m pounds.
Huntelaar will be playing for his fourth club in four seasons, having moved from Ajax to Real Madrid in the middle of the 2007/08 season and then to AC Milan last summer after an unsuccessful season and a half at the Bernabeu.
As was the case at Real, the Dutch international failed to seriously make his mark at the San Siro. Last season, he scored only seven goals in 25 Serie A appearances, only 11 of which were starts.
Huntelaar had been linked with an exit for much of the summer, with the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham linked with the 27-year-old. And with AC Milan working out a deal to bring Zlatan Ibrahimovic from Barcelona, it made Huntelaar’s future at the San Siro all the dimmer.
Now he has a chance to link up with former Real twammate Raul at Schalke and to rediscover his form in the goal-friendly Bundesliga, and he’ll be an integral part of Schalke’s push to advance from a Champions League group that includes Benfica, Lyon, and Hapoel Tel Aviv.
Schalke manager Felix Magath said to German newspaper Bild in regards to his new striker: “Negotiations were tougher than expected. I am happy to have Klaas-Jan. He will help us.”
If Huntelaar can find the scoring touch that has only shown in flashes since his move from Ajax, he will indeed prove to be a big help for struggling Schalke, as Magath’s side has surprisingly started the new Bundesliga season with consecutive 2-1 defeats to Hamburg SV and Hannover 96.