Sheffield Wednesday could be about to dip into the German market.
Sheffield Wednesday are close to signing the Arminia Bielefeld defender, Julian Börner, according to NW.de.
But what should Owls fans know about the player who could become their first summer recruit?
Here are five facts to get you up to speed…
Where does he play?
He’s a left-sided centre-back, so would help to fill the void recently created by the departures of Michael Hector (who Sheffield Wednesday could still try to sign permanently from Chelsea) and Daniel Pudil. His arrival may raise questions about the futures of Jordan Thorniley and, in particular, Joost van Aken.
What type of centre-back is he?
His strengths are aerial duels and blocking, and he has no significant weaknesses, according to WhoScored.com. The website adds that the six-foot-two-inch German: Likes to play short passes; likes to dribble; is an indirect set-piece threat; clears the ball out of defence often, and commits fouls often. He’s also captained Arminia for the past two seasons, and could be the defensive leader the Owls have lacked since Glenn Loovens’ departure last summer.
Where’s he played before?
The 28-year-old began his professional career at Energie Cottbus in the late 2000s, at which point he was a youth international for Germany. He transferred to Arminia in 2014 and has made just shy of 150 appearances for the side from North Rhine-Westphalia, most of which at second-tier level.
How much are Sheffield Wednesday paying?
Nothing. Börner is out of contract this summer and won’t be renewing, despite having reached a verbal agreement with Arminia (NW.de). He is quoted as saying by the website: “It is true that Arminia and I verbally agreed on a new contract some time ago, but so far I haven’t signed anything. In the short-term, I received a request from England, which I wanted to examine thoroughly. Because playing there has always been a lifelong dream of mine, which I can now fulfil. The offer features sporting and economic components that I could not refuse.”
Here is something interesting…
Börner previously turned down a move to Norwich City, at the start of Daniel Farke’s reign. “Of course that was a mega-offer,” he explained, as quoted by NW.de. “But with my wife Krissi (who had just had their first child), I decided that we first stay in Bielefeld.” Given the success of Norwich’s recruitment since then, the signs are good for Sheffield Wednesday.