German club Hamburg SV are on the cusp of signing Swiss international Johan Djourou on loan from Premier League club Arsenal.
And the club’s front-line could also be strengthened with Malaga striker Roque Santa Cruz admitting he would like to return to the Bundesliga.
Djourou spent the second-half of last season on loan to Bundesliga side, Hanover, impressing in his 14-game spell and raising speculation Hanover would make the move permanent.
But HSV have stolen a march on their league rivals, the club’s sporting director Oliver Kreuzer confident a loan deal, with the option for a permanent move, would be secured.
“I am sure the transfer will go through” Kreuzer told Hamburger Morgenpost. “We will definitely know it by Friday.”
However, the deal could be a body blow to Hanover after Swiss national manager described Djourou as a “leader and would make HSV stronger.”
“Djourou’s mind is set on Hamburg. That’s a real pity for us,” Hanover sporting director Dirk Dufner told Bild. “We went to our limits to keep the player, but Hamburg could do things we couldn’t do.”
Meanwhile, Paraguay international Santa Cruz said he would welcome the chance to return to the league where injuries blighted much of his career with Bayern Munich.
And the 31-year-old said the chance to reunite with his former team-mate, HSV coach Thorsten Fink, could tip the scales in HSV’s favour.
“I would like to return to Germany,” the striker told Morgenpost. “HSV is among the big clubs in Bundesliga. That would be a real challenge for me.
“I could not show my full potential in Germany yet because of all the injuries.
“Hamburg showed big interest in me and I am interested as well.
“[Fink’s] friendship means a lot to me. I know what a great guy he is.”
HSV have also agreed terms with 22-year-old defender Lasse Sobiech - the Borussia Dortmund player set to join HSV after returning from a loan spell with SpVgg Greuther Furth.
“Sobiech is a very interesting player” Kreuzer told the Morgenpost. “We would like to sign him no matter if we get Djourou or not.”