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VfB Stuttgart - Die Roten

Started on 19 July 2016 by LFC
Latest Reply on 21 July 2016 by BeanyUnited
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German legend Ballack appointed manager of relegated Stuttgart

Former Germany captain Michael Ballack has been appointed as the new manager of Stuttgart following their relegation from the Bundesliga.

The 39-year-old joins Die Roten on an initial 12-month contract in what will be his first managerial position following his retirement from professional football in October 2012.

Ballack succeeds Jürgen Kramny who failed to keep Stuttgart from relegation from Germany's top division last season. Kramny will take up a coaching role within Stuttgart's backroom staff, having previously managed Stuttgart II.

Five-time Bundesliga winners Stuttgart have not won the league since 2007 and their relegation last season only confirms their underachievement in recent years.

Ballack was keen to venture into a managerial career and actively sought out the Stuttgart job, applying for the job and having what was clearly a meaningful discussion with president Bernd Wahler about his vision for the club.

This proposed vision must surely start with the club's promotion back to the top flight but having lost a key player in Timo Werner, things may be a little more difficult than anticipated for the side.

They have, however, managed to retain the likes of captain Christian Gentner as well as Alexandru Maxim and Filip Kostic - for now, at least - and Sky sources understand that money is there to be spent on additions to the squad.

It is currently unclear what sort of Stuttgart side we will see under Ballack's reign, but if it is anything like the former Bayern Munich and Chelsea star during his player then the fans at the Mercedes-Benz Arena should be in for an exciting ride.

During Ballack's first press conference as manager, he was asked about his ambitions and revealed his hopes of coaching Germany at some point in his career:

"I think for me the big, big thing that I would like to achieve is to coach Germany. I absolutely loved captaining them as a player and it would be the biggest honour for me to go back there as a manager.

But for now I am here at Stuttgart, unproven as a manager and I am very grateful for the opportunity to show what I can do. It will be a good season, I am sure."

NOTE: I will be playing on an unofficial transfer update (Pr0's) with transfers up to the date of 1st July. Therefore players like Martin Harnik will still be with the club and not free agents.
Best of luck dude
Good luck, hopefully you can get them back to the bundesliga

Player sales likely at Stuttgart according to manager Ballack

New Stuttgart boss Michael Ballack has revealed that changes are imminent at the Mercedes-Benz Arena following Stuttgart's relegation from the Bundesliga last season.

Ballack was only appointed as the club's new manager on Wednesday but the former Germany captain is adamant that this will be very much his Stuttgart team, meaning that first team departures are likely with reported interest in several senior players.

Prior to Ballack's appointment earlier this week, Stuttgart had lost young talent Timo Werner who made the switch back to the Bundesliga with recently promoted Red Bull Leipzig for a fee understood to be around £8m.

But Ballack said that this loss and other players leaving was 'inevitable' following the relegation.

"Obviously the club has lost Werner before I came in here, and I think that others will follow. It's inevitable that players at this club will want to be back in the top flight and I don't think I should stand in their way.

No player is irreplaceable and that is the case here too. If players do not want to stay with the club and help us fight then they can leave. I would expect to see a few leave in the next few weeks but the fans can be certain that I will be replacing them with players who really want to play for the Stuttgart shirt.

It is my intention to build a team here and there is a good core of ambitious players already in the squad that I will be looking to this season. But of course any players that leave will be replaced suitably.

I know there is some interest in a few of the boys right now and we've been in talks with a few clubs over sales. But I do really want to build up a team of passionate players who can fit into my style of play."

It is thought that Martin Harnik and Filip Kostic are amongst those who are interesting other clubs and we should see some movement both in and out of Stuttgart in the coming weeks.

Trio leave Stuttgart as Ballack revolution begins

It was suggested by Stuttgart boss Michael Ballack earlier this week that the club would be willing to part with first team players in order to build a squad capable of winning promotion back to the Bundesliga.

And today Stuttgart have confirmed the departures of three senior players for a combined fee of somewhere in the region of £25m.

Filip Kostić, Daniel Schwaab and Martin Harnik have all left the club with Kostic and Harnik looking to ply their trade in England's top flight while Schwaab remains in Germany, moving up a division to sign for Hertha Berlin.

Martin Harnik has joined Premier League champions Leicester City in an £8m deal which sees the Austrian winger leave Stuttgart after a five year spell.

Born in Hamburg, Germany, Harnik is a 51-time Austria international having made his senior debut back in 2007 while playing for Werder Bremen.

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri has added Harnik to his side as he looks to strengthen his squad in an ambitious attempt to retain the Premier League title.

Harnik was also subject to interest from fellow Premier League sides Swansea, Hull, Southampton and West Bromwich Albion and perhaps would have tied down a regular starting spot at any one of those teams but as it is, he may find his playing time limited as he will likely play second fiddle to PFA Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez on the right flank.

Clearly the attraction of the Premier League holders was too tempting to turn down but 28-year-old Harnik, whose contract with Stuttgart had one year left to run, will be hoping his career does not stall on the bench.

Filip Kostić also heads to the Premier League in a potential £17m deal which sees him leave Germany behind for Goodison Park.

Kostić only joined Stuttgart in 2014 but quickly established himself in the first team squad, also earning himself a Serbia debut during his time at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.

The left winger has gone on to make nine appearances for his country but is still in search of a first goal. Opportunities on the international stage should continue to come his way with this move and the 22-year-old can be relatively confident of a regular spot in Ronald Koeman's lineup.

Koeman is no stranger to Kostić with the Dutchman's former side Feyenoord facing off against the Serb's old club in the Eredivisie on a few occasions.

Everton have paid an initial £14.5m to Stuttgart but could end up paying another £2.5m should Kostić make at least fifty league appearances for the Merseyside club, meaning The Toffees could ultimately pay a total of £17m for the winger.

West Ham United were also interested in Kostić but had a bid turned down by Stuttgart.

And finally Daniel Schwaab has left Stuttgart to sign for Bundesliga outfit Hertha Berlin in a deal worth up to £2.6m.

Defender Schwaab joined Die Roten on a free transfer from Bayer Leverkusen in 2013 and immediately tied down a centre back spot in their side.

The 26-year-old has represented Germany at various youth levels but is yet to win a senior cap for his country.

And a move back to the top division will surely do his chances of doing so no harm.

Like Harnik, Schwaab was also entering the final year of his contract and Ballack acted quickly to avoid losing him on a free transfer next year.

PSG duo leave Paris to sign for relegated Stuttgart

Stuttgart have today completed a double swoop for Paris-Saint Germain's French pair Jean-Christophe Bahebeck and Youssouf Sabaly.

Left sided winger Bahebeck signs a two-year deal following the £17m sale of Filip Kostić to Premier League side Everton and is the most likely candidate to replace the outgoing Serbian international.

The former France U21 star leaves the club he grew up supporting in search of a regular starting berth in Stuttgart's campaign to return to the Bundesliga after their bitterly disappointing relegation last season.

23-year-old Bahebeck made 34 league appearances during his five year senior career at Parc des Princes in which he also spent time on loan with Troyes, Valenciennes and most recently Saint-Ettiene.

Bahebeck has been described as a player who is "very fast with both feet" and also possesses a fierce shot.

The Saint-Denis born player is far from the finished article but he will be hoping that his move to Stuttgart will aid his development and even propel him into the France squad in the future.

Stuttgart parted with £2.3m in order to land the winger, who is also eligible to play for Cameroon.

Stuttgart have also confirmed the signing of PSG's right back Youssouf Sabaly who joins for £1m on a three year contract.

Unlike Bahebeck, Sabaly never featured for Paris-Saint Germain's first team but he does have a fair amount of experience in France's top flight having been loaned out to Evian for two years where he made a total of 65 league appearances.

Sabaly has represented France at various youth levels up to the U20 squad, with whom he was part of their victorious World Cup campaign in 2013.

While he is not expected to be Stuttgart's first option at right back, the 22-year-old should expect to play fairly often with the expected departure of Florian Klein and will likely be used as part of a rotation system with former Dortmund star Kevin Großkreutz.

Sabaly may well get his chance should Großkreutz be used in a more attacking role, with the German more than capable of being effective on the wing.

Stuttgart sign Sabaly for an initial £1m but will fork out another £200k should they be promoted.

Great Start to this! Baheback was an absolute beast for me in my Fifa 13 Liverpool career so hopefully he can do the same for you! Good Luck!

Hajduk's Tino Sušić turns down offers to sign for Club Brugge

Bosnian midfielder Tino Sušić has turned down several offers from Germany to sign for Club Brugge.

It is understood that the prospect of playing Champions League football was what ultimately persuaded the 23-year-old to make the switch from Croatian outfit Hajduk Split, something none of the German clubs could offer him.

Frankfurt, Red Bull Leipzig and Stuttgart all had bids accepted for the attacking midfielder but failed to convince him that their club was right for him.

Michael Ballack's Stuttgart were thought to have turned to the £1.6m man as their main target for the position but were reportedly in talks with other options prior to Sušić's move to Belgium.

Club Brugge are also understood to have put together the most appealing wage package for the player who began his career in Belgium with the likes of KRC Genk and Standard Liège prior to his switch to Croatia in 2012 where he made 75 league appearances for Hajduk.

Sušić and his family emigrated to Belgium when he was a child and he represented them at youth levels before making his Bosnia and Herzegovina debut in 2014.

Ballack turns to Spain in bid to strengthen promotion campaign

Stuttgart have turned to Spanish pair Pablo Insua and Adri Embarba as they look to make quality additions ahead of their Bundesliga 2. campaign.

Insua signs from La Liga side Deportivo de La Coruña who he began his career with as a fourteen year old back in 2008.

Insua featured heavily throughout Deportivo's 2013/14 Liga Adelante campaign which saw them return to the top flight at the first time of asking following their relegation in the previous season and Stuttgart boss Michael Ballack will be hoping this experience can help his side who face an identical predicament.

Prior to his senior debut in 2012, Insua had been a mainstay in the Deportivo B side and so he has plenty of experience playing competitive football despite only being 21. He has represented Spain at the highest youth level on nine occasions.

Insua signs for an initial £2m on a three-year contract but Stuttgart will pay a further £2m to Deportivo should they achieve promotion.

This is not the first time that Stuttgart have negotiated this payment plan, having offered a similar deal for PSG's Yousouff Sabaly.

Confirming the double signing, Ballack commented on this financial structure:

"It is not something which we offer to teams. They come back to us with a counter, saying 'you get promotion, you pay more'. We are more than happy to do so as it shows a tremendous amount of faith in our ability and reflects the club's stature in that these other teams, respected teams, are confident of getting their full price through our performances over the coming season."

The other Spaniard to sign for Stuttgart this week is Rayo Vallecano's Adri Embarba who makes a £1.8m switch to the German side on a two year deal.

The right winger began his career as a youth player at Real Madrid before working his way back up to La Liga, playing for the likes of Marchamalo and Carabanchel before making the move to Rayo in 2013.

He started out playing for Rayo B where he impressed enough to earn a promotion to the senior squad, making 25 appearances over two seasons.

Embarba has been brought in as a replacement for Martin Harnik who joined Premier League champions Leicester in an £8m deal earlier this summer.

Ballack has opted to choose lesser known players who he believes can do the job expected of them at a lower price than other, more reputable players would be going for.

He previously stated his intent to sign players who wanted to play for the Stuttgart shirt rather than money and so far he has stuck with that as the likes of former PSG duo Sabaly and Jean-Christophe Bahebeck made the switch in order to get more first team football.

The deal for Embarba could eventually rise to just under £3m, once more depending on the club's promotion back to the Bundesliga. However Stuttgart will also pay another £180k to relegated Rayo, should the 23-year-old make a minimum of 50 league appearances for the club.

With all the money from those sales you could build quite a strong team!

Ballack builds for the future with youth investments

Michael Ballack has completed the signing of young players Ellis Plummer and Pawel Mandrysz, suggesting that the Stuttgart boss is planning for a long term stay at the club.

Plummer, 20, and Mandrysz, 17, are both very unlikely to star in the first team this season, and possibly even for the next few seasons.

But this investment signals Ballack's intent for Stuttgart's long term future as these young prospects can be allowed to develop at the club before either going on to play for the first team or being sold off elsewhere for a profit.

Both of these options would benefit the team and they could certainly be sold for a profit in the future, with Plummer costing £300k from English club Manchester City, and Mandrysz costing just £20k from Polish side ROW Rybnik.

The hope for Ballack and Stuttgart, however, must surely be that these two signings can really develop into good players capable of helping the team in the future.

Mandrysz goes up against Man Utd star Marcus Rashford for Poland's youth side.

Stuttgart possess very good training and youth facilities and will be looking to get the most out of their new acquisitions.

Plummer is a centre back who has represented England at U16 and U17 levels.

The Manchester-born defender has had loan spells with Scottish side St Mirren and English club Oldham Athletic.

Plummer signed for Manchester City from Stockport County at the age of 12 in 2006, but failed to make a single appearance for the club.

Pawel Mandrysz is predominantly a right sided winger but can also be called upon as a striker.

The 17-year-old featured regularly in ROW Rybnik's Polish third division campaign, scoring three goals in 31 appearances for his club.

Ballack certainly has the next few years in mind when looking at this player, and Mandrysz could well find that a loan spell would serve him best.

At just £20k there really isn't much room for the Polish winger to be called a flop while there is still a lot of potential for him to fulfil.

I really like the look of Ellis Plummer, seems a very solid player! The few departures are to be expected, so it is good to see you getting good prices for them!

Pawl Mandrysz may not be exceptional but he does like he has the potential needed, as well as current ability to at the very least be a bit part player in the Budesliga 2
LFC's avatar LFC
4 yearsEdited

Unsettled defender Florian Klein leaves Stuttgart for Freiburg

Stuttgart's biggest transfer saga of the summer has finally come to an end as Austrian defender Florian Klein signs for Bundesliga side Freiburg.

Klein, 28, had fallen out with manager Michael Ballack after a bid of around £3.5m was rejected from Serie A side Atalanta earlier in the summer.

The right back was of interest to several teams including English club West Ham and Atalanta's league rivals Lazio.

The signing of Paris-Saint Germain defender Youssouf Sabaly indicated that Ballack was preparing for life without the 28-time Austria international.

While Klein was not expected to be the starting right back, likely being second choice to former Dortmund star Kevin Großkreutz, he had still become a regular in his debut season at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.

Having spent all of his career in his native Austria prior to his move to Germany last season, it seems Klein has attracted some real attention from his performances.

Signing on a free transfer from Red Bull Salzburg, Stuttgart will be happy with the profit made on the defender.

Eventually it was Freiburg manager Christian Streich who made what was deemed an acceptable offer for the services of Klein and he makes the switch back to the top flight for a fee of £4m.

Klein will likely be a key player for Freiburg as they seek to avoid the relegation battle that is being predicted for them.

As for Stuttgart, they needn't worry too much as they have plenty of depth in Klein's position - Großkreutz, Jean Zimmer and the recent addition of Sabaly should provide plenty of cover for the right back role.

Stuttgart wrap up £3m deal for Djuricic

Michael Ballack has made Benfica's attacking midfielder Filip Djuricic his most expensive signing of the summer after completing a £3m deal for the Serbia international.

Djuricic was placed on the transfer list by manager Rui Vitória having only made eleven appearances since joining from Dutch side Heerenveen in 2013.

He had several loan spells after signing for the Portuguese club with Southampton and Anderlecht, and he's no stranger to German football either, having spent the first half of the 2014/15 season on loan with Bundesliga side Mainz.

Djuricic's playing style has drawn comparisons to former Inter Milan star and fellow Serbian Dejan Stankovic, who notched up over 100 caps for his country.

The 23-year-old will compete with Romanian international Alexandru Maxim for the central attacking midfield spot in Ballack's side.

At £3m, Djuricic becomes Ballack's most expensive signing in charge of Stuttgart, showing his restraint in the transfer market thus far given the transfer fees raked in from player sales, totalling around £28m.

Certainly Djuricic's best spell has come at Heerenveen as he scored 10 league goals in one season during his time in the Eredivisie which attracted the attention of Benfica in the first place.

Stuttgart announce first German signing under Ballack's reign

Stuttgart have completed a deal to bring Union Berlin's Fabian Schönheim to the Mercedes-Benz Arena for an initial £1m.

Schönheim becomes the oldest player to sign for Stuttgart under Michael Ballack at the age of 28 with the new boss typically opting for a younger batch of players.

This apparent transfer philosophy coupled with the sale of the likes of Martin Harnik and Florian Klein (both 28) suggests that Ballack is reshaping the squad into a much younger one, perhaps following in the relatively successful footsteps of managers such as Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino.

Schönheim is a defender who can play both as a centre back and a left back and this versatility could prove useful for Stuttgart over the coming season.

Having represented Germany at U21 level on ten occasions, Schönheim lists the likes of Mainz and Kaiserslautern among his former employers.

The Kirn-born defender has plenty of experience in the second division of German football, having played three consecutive seasons in the Bundesliga 2. with Union Berlin.

He is likely to be in and around the first team, possibly brought in as a replacement for Daniel Schwaab who left for Hertha Berlin earlier this summer.

Stuttgart have paid an initial £1m to their Bundesliga 2. rivals but will pay a further £2m should they be promoted, something which has become a regular occurrence in their transfers so far this season.

Ballack has already spoken about the faith that this shows other teams have in Stuttgart but this particular deal stands out with Union Berlin confident that a league rival will gain promotion back to the top flight.

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