Key German Bundesliga transfers for 2014/15
Ahead of the start of the 2014/15 German Bundesliga season on Friday, AFP Sport takes a look at some of the most significant summer transfers:
- Borussia Dortmund to Bayern Munich; free transfer
It was announced back in January that Polish striker Lewandowski would be moving to Bayern in the summer on a five-year deal under freedom of contract. The 26-year-old follows the path trodden last summer by Mario Goetze in joinng Bayern from their biggest rivals. Lewandowski scored 74 Bundesliga goals in four years with Dortmund and was the division's leading scorer last season with 20. He is therefore expected to be an improvement on Mario Mandzukic, sold to Atletico Madrid.
- Torino (ITA) to Borussia Dortmund; 19.4million euros (�15.5m $26.4m)
To replace Lewandowski, Dortmund splashed the cash to recruit 24-year-old Italy striker Immobile, the leading scorer in Serie A last season for Torino with 22 goals. Immobile, previously with Juventus and Genoa, signed a five-year contract with Dortmund. He featured in two of Italy's games at the World Cup but was largely ineffectual.
- Hertha Berlin to Borussia Dortmund; undisclosed fee
Before the signing of Immobile, Dortmund had already wrapped up a deal to take 28-year-old Colombia striker Ramos from Hertha Berlin on a four-year contract. Ramos, who made three appearances during Colombia's run to the World Cup quarter-finals, had spent the last five years with Hertha and scored 16 Bundesliga goals last season.
- Bayer Leverkusen to Schalke 04; free transfer
Diminutive winger Sam, 26, is Schalke's marquee signing as they look to close the gap on Bayern and Dortmund. Sam moved to Gelsenkirchen under freedom of contract, signing a four-year deal with the Royal Blues. He had been in outstanding form for Bayer Leverkusen before signing a pre-contract agreement with Schalke back in January, and his tail-off after that saw him miss out on Germany's World Cup squad.
- Nuremberg to Bayer Leverkusen; undisclosed fee
Leverkusen moved to strengthen their front line with the signing of highly promising 22-year-old Swiss international striker Drmic. Formerly of FC Zurich, Drmic sprang to prominence with 17 goals in a Nuremberg side that were relegated last season. He put pen to paper on a four-year deal before featuring in all of Switzerland's games as they reached the last 16 at the World Cup.
- Napoli (ITA) to Hamburg; 4.5 million euros (�3.5m, $6m)
Having needed a play-off to avoid a first ever relegation from the top flight last season and then sold Hakan Calhanoglu to Bayer Leverkusen, northern giants Hamburg have taken out the chequebook in a bid to strengthen their squad. Swiss international midfielder Behrami arrives on a three-year deal after requesting a move away from Napoli. The Kosovo-born 29-year-old has won more than 50 caps for Switzerland and was impressive at the World Cup.
- Chelsea (ENG) to Borussia Moenchengladbach; season-long loan
The brother of Chelsea and Belgium star Eden Hazard, Thorgan is a precocious talent himself. He spent the last two seasons on loan at Zulte-Waregem, with whom he was named Belgian player of the year for 2013, and a move to the Bundesliga will be seen by Chelsea as the next step in his development. He should flourish at Gladbach, the club where both Marko Marin and Marco Reus rose to prominence.