Ante Bajic / Image: GEPA pictures
Bundesliga club SV Ried has extended the contract with one of its largest transfer shares. Offensive player Ante Bajic signed a new contract for three years in the Innviertel. “Ante had specific offers from abroad, but we were able to convince him of our path at SV Guntamatic Ried,” said sports director Wolfgang Fiala in a club broadcast on Thursday.
Bajic, who contributed five goals and three assists to the relegation of the then promoted player last year, was a “figurehead” of the club and was incredibly important for Ried, both athletically and personally, emphasized Fiala.
Another ÖFB goalkeeper for Schalke
Bundesliga relegated Schalke signed another Austrian goalie, Martin Fraisl, alongside Michael Langer. The 28-year-old comes from the Dutch first division club The Hague. From July 2019 to January 2021 he played in Sandhausen.
Austria strengthens the defense
Wiener Austria has strengthened its thin staff cover in defense with the German central defender Lukas Mühl. The 24-year-old has played for 1. FC Nürnberg for the past few years, where he made the leap to professionalism. After his contract with the German second division club has expired, he is now coming to Vienna free of charge. Austria did not provide any information on the terms of the contract on Tuesday.
“Lukas Mühl is an experienced defender who played in the first and second German Bundesliga and will help us,” said Austria coach Manfred Schmid about the new signing. He had already observed Mühl during his time at 1. FC Köln. In 2018/19 Nürnberg played in the top division for one season.
In Austria, the 1.88 m tall defender is supposed to strengthen the defense. With Christian Schoissengeyr and Johannes Handl, who had been injured for a long time in the past few years, the favorites only had two central defenders with Bundesliga experience in their squad.
Schöpf stays in Germany
Alessandro Schöpf has found a new club in the German Bundesliga. After the relegation of Schalke 04, the Austrian EM participant signed a two-year contract with Arminia Bielefeld. The 27-year-old Schöpf has played for Schalke since January 2016. The midfielder played twice for Austria at the last European Championship.
“With Alessandro we are gaining a player who is strong and technically savvy – he has played 112 times in the Bundesliga and is an experienced player,” said Bielefeld's head coach Frank Kramer in a statement from the club. “We are convinced that he can give our midfield important impetus and that we will improve through him.”
Schöpf had to move into the second division with Schalke last season. For the Gelsenkirchner he made 19 appearances in the league, the Tyrolean didn't score a goal. At Arminia, which finished 15th at the end of the season, two Austrians are already playing with Christian Gebauer and Manuel Prietl.
Lask brings U21 team player Maresic
LASK has brought Dario Maresic back to Austria. The 21-year-old was loaned for a year by the French first division club Stade Reims, as the Linz team announced on Monday. The LASK therefore also has a purchase option on the central defender. Maresic moved from Sturm Graz to Reims two years ago. Last season he made eight appearances or 511 minutes of play in Ligue 1.
LASK coach Dominik Thalhammer said of the newcomer: “Dario is a young and at the same time very experienced player. We analyzed his skills very carefully and he immediately won us over, both in terms of football and in personal conversations.” Maresic had already completed 82 appearances for Sturm before the U21 international moved to the country of the world champion. Maresic himself said in a club broadcast that he wanted to “find my joy in football again” at LASK.
Recently, reports about the departure of an important player came up in the LASK environment. Defense chief Gernot Trauner is said to have received an offer from the traditional Dutch club Feyenoord Rotterdam. However, this should be clearly below the ideas of the Linzers. “I know that this offer does not even come close to that or is serious enough to continue speaking,” said Thalhammer after the first round appearance in the ÖFB Cup on Saturday. The 29-year-old from Traun is under contract with LASK until the summer of 2024.
Augsburg's amazement at Danso
Markus Weinzierl regrets the decision by Austrian defender Kevin Danso not to train and play for FC Augsburg in the future. “I built on him,” said the coach, reporting that Danso had good impressions from training. Observers rate the change of heart of the six-time ÖFB team player as surprising, because he would have had a good chance of a regular place due to two failures in central defense at the beginning of the season.
Apparently, the 22-year-old wants to strike at another club with the action. The RC Lens in France has already submitted an offer, but it is too low, as managing director Stefan Reuter of the “Augsburger Allgemeine” said. “We will wait and under no circumstances will we sell it below the price.”
Danso refused to continue training with the team on Thursday and was therefore sent back to Augsburg. Weinzierl spoke of a “decision that we all didn't want and that we don't like.” At the same time, however, the coach of the Bundesliga team made it clear that he does not want a player with this attitude in the squad. “We can't need any negativity or negative things,” said Weinzierl on the club's website at the end of the training camp in Tyrol.
Tough negotiations between Bologna and Arnautovic
Bologna FC continue to pursue the plan to bring Marko Arnautovic to Serie A. “It is obvious that we are interested. We are trying to find a solution as soon as possible,” confirmed sporting director Riccardo Bigon during a press conference. According to media reports, the negotiations have been running into the transfer negotiations with Arnautovic's current employer, Shanghai Port, for weeks.
Austria's team striker is apparently willing to return to Europe. His brother and advisor Danijel Arnautovic has been in Bologna for negotiations over the past few days. According to Corriere dello Sport, he met Bologna's managing director Claudio Fenucci, with whom he discussed the status of negotiations with Shanghai.
The crux of the matter should be that the striker is tied to Shanghai with a well-endowed contract until the end of 2022 and will demand a severance payment in the event of a contract termination. The Chinese Super League club wants a transfer for the attacker, who two years ago was brought from West Ham for a rumored 25 million euros. As the “Corriere dello Sport” (Friday edition) reported, Shanghai is demanding a transfer fee of four million euros. FC Bologna wants to spend a maximum of two million euros.
According to Bigon, no deadline has been set for completing the transfer. “There are alternatives, but we're only pursuing Plan A. Because that's what interests us,” he said. Bologna's trainer Sinisa Mihajlovic has already come out as a big fan of the Viennese. According to Italian reports, Bologna is said to have presented Arnautovic with a three-year contract. The 32-year-old has not yet returned to China after the European Championships.
Danso is leaving the Augbsurg training camp
The future of the Austrian defender Kevin Danso at the German Bundesliga club FC Augsburg is uncertain. Danso left the training camp in Tyrol early on Thursday. He was no longer able to train or play for Augsburg, it was said. How things will go on for the 22-year-old after his return to Augsburg was initially open on Friday. First the “Kicker” and the “Augsburger Allgemeine” reported about the departure.
“There is nothing in football that does not exist. Actually we had considered extending the contract with him. Now we have to see,” said FCA managing director Stefan Reuter of the “Augsburger Allgemeine” (Friday). The change of heart comes as a surprise to the FCA because Danso has reportedly worked well in the training camp at Walchsee and appeared motivated.
On Thursday, however, he informed those responsible around Reuter and head coach Markus Weinzierl in the morning that he could no longer train with this team. When the test match against Qarabag FK (2-2) came up in the evening, he was already gone.
Years ago, Danso was considered a huge talent in the Augsburg team. In the past two years he was loaned to FC Southampton and Fortuna Düsseldorf. Perhaps Danso fears that he will only be a reservist with the Augsburg team in the coming season. This is surprising, since at least two rivals from within the team are initially absent from his position: Reece Oxford is injured in his knee and Felix Uduokhai with the German team at the Olympics
Danso may want to force a change through his behavior. According to reports, there is an offer to buy the defender from the French first division club RC Lens. A compatriot from Danso was already successful with a similar behavior: ÖFB team player Martin Hinteregger forced a move to Eintracht Frankfurt in 2019 with a dubious appearance at the Tyrolean training camp.
Storm extended with Kiteishvili
Sturm Graz has prematurely extended the contract with the Georgian international Otar Kiteishvili. The midfielder was tied to the club until the summer of 2024, as the Bundesliga club announced on Friday. Kiteishvili has established himself as a service provider since moving to Graz three years ago, his original contract would have expired at the end of the next season.
“On the offensive he is one of the best players in the league. The fact that he decided for us despite other opportunities speaks extremely for his character,” said Sturms Sport Director Andreas Schicker about the 25-year-old. Kiteishvili scored seven goals in the Bundesliga last season and prepared five.