New strikers for Gladbach, Hamburg and Mainz

Borussia Mönchengladbach, Hamburg and Mainz all added new forwards to their squads this week.

Bundesliga experience for Gladbach

It might have been overshadowed by Pep Guardiola’s first press conference as Bayern manager, not to mention his already impressive grasp of German, but Monday afternoon also saw the announcement that Brazilian forward Raffael is to call Mönchengladbach his new home. Joining from Dynamo Kiev on the back of a loan spell at Schalke 04, he signed a four-year deal after completing a medical at Borussia-Park. Most famous to Bundesliga fans for over 100 appearances in his four year stint with Hertha Berlin, the Brazilian ran out 16 times for Schalke last season – with two goals and five assists to his name during that spell. The 28 year-old becomes Lucien Favre’s second signing of the summer, following sought-after Max Kruse’s switch from Freiburg to the Foals.

First one in for Hamburg

Meanwhile up north, Hamburg were putting the finishing touches on the paperwork that sees FC Basel forward Jacques Zoua become their first signing under new sporting director Oliver Kreuzer. The Cameroonian striker put pen to paper on a three-year contract with die Rothosen after completing a medical on Monday. Having joined the Swiss giants in 2009, Zoua went on to make 86 appearances for Basel in the next four years, and the 21 year-old gained invaluable experience on the European stage last season as Basel reached the last four of the Europa League. Hamburg are also rumoured to be interested in a number of attacking targets after losing Heung-Min Son to Bayer Leverkusen earlier this month.

Mainz prepare for Szalai loss

With Hungarian striker Ádám Szalai all but on his way to Schalke, Mainz have wasted no time in finding a replacement with Japan forward Shinji Okazaki making the move from VfB Stuttgart. The 27 year-old returned from the Confederations Cup in Brazil after his country’s group stage exit, in which he managed two goals, to sign a contract which will keep him at the Coface Arena for the next three seasons. After leaving his native Japan for Stuttgart in 2011, Okazaki scored ten times in 63 games, while his international record is far more impressive – 35 goals in 66 appearances. Mainz’s new man found goals hard to come by in 2012-13, scoring just four times in all competitions and only once in the Bundesliga.

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