Jullien joins Freiburg, Fernandes to follow

Defender Christopher Jullien – on duty with France at the FIFA U-20 World Cup – has signed for SC Freiburg, who are close to securing the services of Gelson Fernandes.

Gelson Fernandes in UEFA Europa League action last season for Sporting
Gelson Fernandes in UEFA Europa League action last season for Sporting ©AFP/Getty Images

SC Freiburg have confirmed the signing of defender Christopher Jullien from AJ Auxerre and are close to tying up a deal for Swiss international Gelson Fernandes.

Jullien, part of the France squad competing at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey, has arrived on a free transfer. Freiburg have not disclosed the length of contract penned by the 20-year-old, who broke into the Burgundy club's first team last season, making 25 appearances in Ligue 2.

"Christopher Jullien is a highly talented and intelligent player who we have been watching intensively since his debut at Auxerre,"said Freiburg caretaker sporting director Klemens Hartenbach.

The Bundesliga outfit say only the "final formalities" have to be completed for Fernandes to become a Freiburg player. Capped 42 times, the 26-year-old former Manchester City FC, AS Saint-Étienne, AC Chievo Verona and Udinese Calcio midfielder spent the second half of last season on loan at first club FC Sion from Sporting Clube de Portugal.

Freiburg coach Christian Streich said: "[Gelson] does a lot of things for the team, has a presence on the pitch and boasts lots of experience. We want him to stay for longer and find calm and a home here. It would be nice if we could sign two or three more players."

Streich's team – who finished fifth in the German top flight last term – will enter the UEFA Europa League at the group stage, Freiburg's first European campaign since 2001/02.