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Balitsch makes Mainz move

Published: Thursday 6 January 2005, 10.35CET
Hanno Balitsch has left UEFA Champions League contenders Bayer 04 Leverkusen to join 1. FSV Mainz O5.

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Published: Thursday 6 January 2005, 10.35CET

Balitsch makes Mainz move

Hanno Balitsch has left UEFA Champions League contenders Bayer 04 Leverkusen to join 1. FSV Mainz O5.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen midfield player Hanno Balitsch has left the UEFA Champions League contenders to sign for 1. FSV Mainz O5.

European experience
Balitsch, who played five times in the group stage, had been linked with a move to 1. FC Nürnberg throughout the winter break but the 24-year-old has instead signed a contract that will tie him to Mainz until summer 2008. The transfer fee for the former Germany Under-21 captain has not been disclosed.

Thurk return
Mainz have also completed a deal to bring back striker Michael Thurk. The 28-year-old has a special place in Mainz history, having scored twice in their 3-0 win against Eintracht Trier to secure promotion on the final day of last season. However, Thurk's goals doomed him to staying in the 2. Bundesliga as Mainz went up at the expense of FC Energie Cottbus, the club he had already decided to join on a free transfer.

Coach happy
Like Balitsch, Thurk has signed a three-and-a-half year contract. Mainz coach Jürgen Klopp was delighted to add the duo to his squad as the eleventh-placed club look to consolidate on a fine performance in the first half of the Bundesliga season. "Both players are huge signings and I am really happy that they have decided to join us," said Klopp.

Last updated: 06/01/05 12.04CET

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