Frankfurt signs Canada’s Occean and Inui of Japan
Olivier Occean (L) in action for Canada against the US
FRANKFURT, Germany ● Eintracht Frankfurt presented Canada striker Olivier Occean and Japanese midfielder Takashi Inui as new signings when its players returned to training for the new Bundesliga season on Tuesday.
Frankfurt signed the 30-year-old Occean from fellow promoted side Greuther Fuerth and the 24-year-old Inui from second division side Bochum.
Both players agreed three-year deals. Frankfurt did not disclose transfer fees but Kicker magazine reports each player cost around 1.5 million ($1.9 million).
Occean and Inui become Frankfurt’s sixth and seventh signings of the offseason, following the arrivals of Kevin Trapp from Kaiserslautern, Stefano Celozzi from Stuttgart, Martin Lanig from Cologne, Bastian Oczipka from Bayer Leverkusen and Stefan Aigner from 1860 Munich.
The club secured promotion to the Bundesliga last season following relegation a year earlier.
● Schalke has signed Switzerland winger Tranquillo Barnetta on a free transfer from Bundesliga rival Bayer Leverkusen.
Schalke says on its website that the 27-year-old Barnetta is getting a three-year deal through June 2015 and will wear the No. 27.
Schalke manager Horst Heldt says the club is “delighted that Tranquillo decided for us. He has huge capabilities and can play in many positions, as he’s shown for Leverkusen and the Swiss national team.”
Barnetta has played 61 times for Switzerland, scoring eight goals. He has played 194 Bundesliga games, for Leverkusen and on loan at Hannover, scoring 25 goals and setting up 41 more.
● Stoke City said on Tuesday it had agreed terms with Scotland under-21 midfielder Jamie Ness, who was set to leave debt-ridden Scottish club Rangers after terminating his contract.
Stoke said the 21-year-old Ness would join as a free agent pending international clearance.
The midfielder’s move from Rangers could kick off a player exodus at the fallen Scottish giant and record 54-time league champion, which entered bankruptcy protection in February and is in danger of being relegated from the top flight with tax debts of 21 million pounds ($32.7 million).
Ness exercised his right to have his contract with Rangers cancelled, although club chief executive Charles Green threatened to take players who didn’t transfer their contracts to Rangers’ new controlling company to court.
Green said last month he’d also take legal action against the clubs trying to sign his players. A decision on Rangers’ application to operate under the new company and stay in the Scottish Premier League is expected on Wednesday, although a number of clubs are opposed to it staying in the SPL.
English Premier League team Stoke said it had agreed a contract with Ness and his move from Rangers would be finalized with international clearance.
“Jamie is a lad with enormous potential who is clearly determined to make the most of his fresh start in the game,” Stoke coach Tony Pulis said.
● Czech Republic midfielder Milan Petrzela has agreed a move from Viktoria Plzen in the Czech league to Bundesliga club Augsburg.
Plzen says the 29-year-old has signed a three-year contract.
Petrzela, who was on the Czech Republic team that reached the quarterfinals at the European Championship in Poland and Ukraine, says to play in the Bundesliga was “a dream for me.”
Petrzela was one of the key players in Plzen’s first Champions League campaign last season. It finished third behind two European powerhouses – Barcelona and AC Milan – in the group stage and earned a spot in the Europa League.
Petrzela has played 11 international matches since he joined the national team two years ago.
Stuttgart signs Hoogland on loan from Schalke
● Stuttgart has signed defender Tim Hoogland on loan from Bundesliga rival Schalke.
Stuttgart says on its website that the 27-year-old German signed a one-year deal after successfully undergoing a medical on Monday.
Hoogland, who was to begin training with the rest of the side on Tuesday, took a swipe at his former club, saying, “I only want to play football. Schalke didn’t give me the chance.”
He added: “Stuttgart is a top-quality side. We’ll definitely be high in the table at the end of the season. I hope, ahead of Schalke.”
Hoogland is Stuttgart’s second signing of the offseason following the arrival of striker Tunay Torun from relegated Hertha Berlin.
● Bulgaria striker Dimitar Rangelov joined Luzern from Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday after signing a two-year contract with the Swiss league runners-up.
Rangelov, capped 24 times, moved to Dortmund from German rivals Energie Cottbus in 2009 but struggled to win a regular first-team place.
Luzern said the 29-year-old, who has also played for Slavia Sofia, Strasbourg and Maccabi Tel Aviv, had an option for a third year.
The Swiss club will compete in the Europa League playoff round in August.