VfB Stuttgart have signed Werder Bremen's Austria striker Martin Harnik and BV Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Marc Ziegler as they prepare for UEFA Europa League football next season.
The 22-year-old Harnik, who spent this season on loan at Fortuna Düsseldorf, has signed a three-year contract, while Ziegler, 33, arrives as "a great back-up for us," said Stuttgart sporting director Horst Heldt. "Last season he proved he is the best [understudy] in Germany, deputising for Roman Weidenfeller. He will support Sven Ulreich, who will be our No1 provided his injury heals, but he will also put pressure on him. Martin Harnik has had a very good season for Fortuna and will be able to develop with us."
The club have already signed VfL Wolfsburg's Christian Gentner and FC Bayern München's Georg Niedermeier, and are looking to bring Cristian Molinaro back from Juventus for another loan spell. Daniel Didavi, Patrick Funk and Clemens Walch have been promoted to the first team from the reserves, and coach Christian Gross said: "Now we have to have a good pre-season. Our first goal for next campaign is a good start in the Bundesliga and to reach the Europa League group stage."
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