BV Borussia Dortmund have signed Serbia right-back Antonio Rukavina from FK Partizan in a deal worth around €2.5m, and are "cautiously optimistic" that Arsenal FC's German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann will follow suit.
The 23-year-old joined Partizan from FK Bežanija in 2006 and soon established himself in Belgrade. Indeed, he started all 17 of their matches before the winter break, helping Partizan establish a six-point lead at the Superliga summit. Rukavina, who has signed a contract until 2012, is joined at the club by Mats Hummels on loan from FC Bayern München. The 19-year-old defender, who has been restricted to ten appearances for Bayern's reserve team this season due to a right ankle injury, will link up with the Ruhr club until 30 June 2009.
Sporting director Michael Zorc has also extended his contract by a year until summer 2009. The 45-year-old will pass a decade of service in the role this year, having swapped the changing room for the board room after 17 years distinguished service in the black and yellow of Dortmund.
Meanwhile, managing director Hans-Joachim Watzke told a conference on Friday that a deal to bring Lehmann back could be close after the parties held talks. "In my view it was a very positive chat. Jens said he would think about [the offer] but also asked that he is not put under pressure to make a decision, which is fine by us," Watzke said. "I don't know when a decision will come ... but I can say that we are cautiously optimistic about both the talks and the decision." Lehmann joined Arsenal from Dortmund in 2003.
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