Valon Behrami transfers from Napoli to Bundesliga side Hamburg
Valon Behrami was so keen to get started at his new club Hamburg, he has begun training even before his transfer from Napoli has been confirmed.
Having passed a medical and signed a contract with the Bundesliga club, the Switzerland international did the rounds with his new team-mates even before the deal with the Serie A side had been sealed.
One signed document is still absent, meaning the two sides cannot officially rubber-stamp the transfer, but Behrami knows where he will be playing his football this season.
"I'm feeling great and I'm really happy here," he said in an interview on the Hamburg website. "Hamburg is a new experience for me and they are a super club.
"This is an important moment in my career."
Behrami, who played all of Switzerland's games at the World Cup this summer, has never spent more than two full seasons with any of his former clubs.
He joined Napoli in 2012 from Fiorentina, but now intends to settle in the north of Germany.
"I've gained a lot of experience, but I still feel young in my mind," said the 29-year-old. "I've already played at many clubs in my career, also because variety was important for me.
"I want to be important for this club. Hamburg are the only club who came to me and said that they desperately wanted me. That was very important for me and for my decision."
Behrami no longer felt so important at Napoli, where he struggled to hold down a regular starting berth last season.
According to Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis, the player simply did not fit in with the plans of Rafael Benitez, which is why they facilitated his move.
At Hamburg, he now hopes to play in his preferred role.
"I think my strengths are above all in the defense," he said. "I'm good in the tackle and good tactically, and I've matured a lot in the past two or three years.
"I know that Hamburg have been conceding too many goals in recent years and we want to improve defensively."
Behrami's transfer should go through on Monday, when an already signed document arrives in Hamburg from Naples.