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Wednesday, January 25, 2006 

Hamburger SV captured Ailton



The Bundesliga is welcoming back one of its favourite foreign players after Brazilian striker Ailton agreed to join Hamburger SV.

Short-term deal
The 32-year-old will move to the title-chasers on loan until the end of the season after the payment of an alleged €450,000 fee to his Turkish club, Beşiktaş JK. The side from the north of Germany will then have the option of signing the former Werder Bremen and FC Schalke 04 forward on a permanent basis in the summer. "He will arrive in Hamburg tonight and will start to train with his new team-mates tomorrow morning," Hamburg spokesman Joern Wolf told uefa.com yesterday as he looked forward to unveiling a striker whose 28 goals helped Bremen win the German title in 2003/04.

Schalke criticism
Ailton scored 14 times the following season for Schalke, but following criticism of his easygoing lifestyle, he elected to move to Beşiktaş last summer. However, he was unable to forge a good working relationship with the club's French coach Jean Tigana and was homesick for German football. In 14 games in the autumn, Ailton scored just five goals for Beşiktaş and received a red card to boot. He further annoyed Tigana when he scored a hat-trick in a friendly game against Bremen this winter in Belek, with the coach claiming he was only playing at his best to earn himself a ticket back to Germany.

'Really thirsty'
Whether or not that was really Ailton's intention, German clubs maintained an interest in him and Hamburg sporting director Dietmar Beiersdorfer was delighted to secure his services. "He is really thirsty to prove his class again here in Germany," he said. "I don't think that he is too old." Ailton will join Sergej Barbarez and Rafael van der Vaart in a stellar multinational forward line at Hamburg, and the club are certain that they can keep the occasionally wayward striker in line. "We will definitely handle him and I am certain that we will make him adjust to the team," said Hamburg marketing director Katja Kraus.

Magath wary
However, not everyone in Germany is so optimistic about the move. FC Bayern München coach Felix Magath, Ailton's boss at Bremen, was not convinced, telling Kicker magazine: "If they were really certain of his qualities, they would have signed him earlier." Should Ailton manage to silence such dissenting voices, it will be great news for Hamburg as they attempt to overhaul Bayern and win the German title for the first time since 1983.

Source: Uefa.com

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