Scottish Premier League

Novikovas leaves Tynecastle

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Fri, 31 May 2013 11:45:00

Freiburg have signed former Borussia Monchengladbach forward Mike Hanke on a free transfer.

The former Germany international, who has played 269 games in the Bundesliga, scoring 55 times, will strengthen the Black Forest club's attack next season.

"The whole package at Freiburg was right," said Hanke, whose contract with Gladbach was not renewed.

"I have spoken to coach Christian Streich and got to know the surroundings and I believe I fit in well here.

"Of course playing in the Europa League also attracts me. I see it a little as my role to lead the way for the younger players."

The much-travelled 29-year-old has also appeared for Schalke, Wolfsburg and Hannover in Germany's top flight, while he has been capped 12 times by Germany and was part of Jurgen Klinsmann's squad which finished third at the 2006 World Cup.

"We are delighted that Mike has chosen to accept the challenge at Freiburg," said Klemens Hartenbach, Freiburg's interim director of sport.

"Our young squad gains an experienced player who also already knows the European football stage and has played consistently well over many years at his previous Bundesliga clubs.

"Last season alone, he showed his worth for Gladbach in 43 competitive appearances and underlined his love for the game, earning an excellent send-off from their fans."

The winger arrived in Edinburgh in 2008 from FK Vilnius but was sent out on loan to St Johnstone three years later.

The 22-year-old, capped 12 times for his country, returned from his six-month stay in Perth and went on to make 37 appearances for the Jambos this season, mainly from the bench, scoring three goals.

Novikovas joins Darren Barr, Danny Grainger, Mehdi Taouil, Gordon Smith, Fraser Mullen and Denis Prychynenko in leaving the club as manager Gary Locke continues his rebuilding plans.

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