Full steam ahead for next season

Ernst Tanner has now been Sporting Director at 1899 Hoffenheim for nearly three weeks. In this time, the contract extension of Boris Vukcevic has been finalised, and Peniel Mlapa has joined the club. The plans for putting the squad together for next season are well underway.

"I think that I've taken to the task quite well", said Ernst Tanner. "Up until now it's been very busy. At the moment it's been all about finalising the squad and getting to know them." The squad has been strengthened in the last week with the signing of German U-19 star Peniel Mlapa from TSV 1860 München. "He is a very promising player, who comes here with the chance to further develop himself, We're very excited to have him here."

There will also be a change in the management team. Marco Pezzaiuoli, who won the European Championships as manager of the Germany U-17 team, will be supporting Ralf Rangnick. "We are trying to bring Marco to the club, because he goes excellently well with our philosophy here to develop young, talented and mainly German players", said Tanner. The current assistant manager Tomislav Maric may after the Summer take over the role as manager of the youth team.

On the topic of Maicosuel, the 43-year-old Tanner said: "We want to release Maicosuel, if the conditions are right." In the case of Franco Zuculini, it also seems that he will be leaving the club. "Franco hasn't quite adjusted to the Bundesliga yet, and needs to go somewhere where he can start enjoying his football again." Wellington, who "wants to stay in Europe" (Tanner) and Ramazan Özkan will also probably be leaving 1899 ahead of the new season. On the other hand, 1899 Hoffenheim have made it clear that they don't want to lose Vedad Ibisevic. Ernst Tanner said over the Bosnian's alleged move to Rome: "I don't know anything about it. We've had no official approach. Vedad scored 30 goals for us last season- not many strikers can do that. Therefore we have no reason to even think about letting him go."


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