Leverkusen signs Corluka on loan from Tottenham

Bayer Leverkusen signed Croatia defender Vedran Corluka from

Tottenham on Tuesday on a loan deal until the end of the


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


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.