Leverkusen signs Corluka on loan from Tottenham
Updated: January 31, 2012, 12:25
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FRANKFURT, Germany(AP) Bayer Leverkusen signed Croatia defender Vedran Corluka from Tottenham on Tuesday on a loan deal until the end of the season.
Leverkusen also obtained an option to sign Corluka on a longer contract, without elaborating. At the same time, Michael Ballack's agent said the former Germany captain would not be leaving the club in this window.
Sports director Rudi Voeller said Corluka was exactly the kind of versatile defender Leverkusen had been looking for.
"He can play not only right back, but also in central defense and on the left,'' Voeller said.
Leverkusen chief executive Wolfgang Holzhaeuser added: "With this signing, we've got a high-level option. Corluka is a respected professional who will give us an immediate impact in class.''
Corluka has made only three appearances in the English Premier League this season for Spurs, who have preferred England defender Kyle Walker at right back.
The decision to let Corluka go leaves Tottenham without any backup to Walker for the remainder of the season, with Spurs third in the standings - eight points behind leader Manchester City.
The 25-year-old Corluka joined Tottenham from Manchester City for 8.5 million pounds ($13.4 million) in 2008.
Meanwhile, Ballack has recently come under fire for his commitment from Voeller and Holzhaeuser, resulting in the former Chelsea midfielder being benched last weekend and raising speculation he might prefer to leave rather than wait until his contract ends in the offseason.
Ballack has been linked with a possible move to Major League Soccer in the United States.
Shortly before the transfer deadline expired Tuesday, Mainz announced that Egypt striker Mohamed Zidan was returning to the club from Borussia Dortmund.
Zidan arrives on loan until the end of the season, but Mainz has the option then to sign him for two seasons. Zidan played for Mainz in the 2005-06 season and in the second half of the following season.
In other Bundesliga last-day transfers, Freiburg, the bottom-place club, said it was taking striker Ivan Santini from the Croatian club Zadar on loan until the end of the season.
Kaiserslautern added midfielder Ariel Borysiuk from Legia Warsaw, giving him a contract through June 2016.
Two strikers left Wolfsburg on loan deals until the end of the season: South Korean international Koo Ja-cheol went to Augsburg and Srdjan Lakic of Croatia moved to Hoffenheim.