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Barnetta swaps Leverkusen for Schalke

Switzerland midfielder Tranquillo Barnetta has ended his successful stay at Bayer 04 Leverkusen to join UEFA Champions League hopefuls FC Schalke 04 on a free transfer.

Tranquilo Barnetta has left Leverkusen
Tranquilo Barnetta has left Leverkusen ©Getty Images

Switzerland midfielder Tranquillo Barnetta has joined FC Schalke 04 after the expiry of his Bayer 04 Leverkusen contract.

The 27-year-old has signed a deal running until summer 2015 with Schalke, who will enter the UEFA Champions League group stage after finishing third in the Bundesliga last season. Barnetta arrived at Leverkusen from FC St Gallen in 2004 and spent his first German season with Hannover 96 before becoming a BayArena regular. He has been capped 61 times and played for Switzerland in four major final tournaments, having helped them win the 2002 UEFA European Under-17 Championship.

"We are very happy that Tranquillo has decided to join us," Schalke general manager Horst Heldt said. "He has enormous qualities and is very flexible, which he has proved for Leverkusen as well as the Switzerland national team. Also, we had the chance to bring him in on a free transfer."