FC Schalke 04 have made three signings ahead of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie against Valencia CF next month, bringing in Anthony Annan, Ali Karimi and Angelos Charisteas.
Annan, a midfielder, has arrived from Rosenborg BK and is regarded as a successor for Ivan Rakitić, who moved to Sevilla FC last week. "It all went very fast, but I am very happy to be playing in such a big league now," said the 24-year-old, for whom a €2.5m fee has been agreed. "Schalke have made me feel very welcome."
The player, who is the nephew of the former secretary-general of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, spent just over two seasons at Rosenborg, the Norwegian champions – making six UEFA Europa League appearances this term. Previously he had spells with IK Start and Stabæk Fotball.
On a busy day for the Gelsenkirchen club, Iranian international midfielder Karimi and Charisteas have also joined Felix Magath's squad. The 32-year-old Karimi, who scored three goals in 33 Bundesliga appearances for FC Bayern München between 2005 and 2007, has been given a deal until the end of the campaign after leaving Steel Azin Teheran FC in his homeland.
Charisteas, meanwhile, was a free agent having been released by AC Arles-Avignon in November. The 30-year-old, who scored the winner for Greece in the UEFA EURO 2004 final, has signed a contract until the summer. He has previously played in Germany for SV Werder Bremen, Bayer 04 Leverkusen and 1. FC Nürnberg.
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