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UEFA Champions League hopefuls FC Schalke 04 have continued their summer recruitment drive by signing Ghanaian international full-back Hans Sarpei from Bundesliga rivals Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
The 34-year-old had fallen out of favour at Leverkusen and has penned a two-season deal with Schalke after impressing coach Felix Magath in his five performances during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. "I really liked him," said Magath. "Not only were Ghana Africa's most successful team, they also gave Germany problems and Hans played a part in that with his defending."
The former FC Bayern München tactician was also keen to replace right-back Rafinha, who recently joined Genoa CFC. "We have talented players in the full-back positions but those players are more for the future," he said. "Having parted company with Rafinha, we had to find someone capable of filling that position right away."
Able to operate on either flank, Sarpei made 42 Bundesliga appearances in three campaigns with Leverkusen, having gone there following a six-season stint at VfL Wolfsburg. He becomes Schalke's eighth summer recruit after deals for Christoph Metzelder, Erik Jendrišek, Tim Hoogland, Atsuto Uchida, Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Sergio Escudero and Rául González. Runners-up in Germany last term, Schalke will be one of 32 clubs tuned into Monaco for today's UEFA Champions League group stage draw at 18.00CET.
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