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Hannover sign Rankovic from Bayern; Raul Garcia agrees new deal with Atletico

Hannover 96 have struck a deal to sign highly-rated midfielder Vladimir Rankovic from Bayern Munich at the end of the season

Hannover 96 have struck a deal to sign highly-rated midfielder Vladimir Rankovic from Bayern Munich at the end of the season.

The Germany youth international, 20, will receive a three-year contract at the HDI-Arena after impressing for Bayern’s reserves this term.

Rankovic, who joined Bayern’s youth academy in 2005, can play in central midfield and on the right wing.

The 20-year-old starlet would have undoubtedly been overlooked had he stayed at the Allianz Arena, with a number of players — including the likes of Mitchell Weiser and Pierre Højbjerg — ahead of him in Pep Guardiola’s pecking order.

“Vladimir Rankovic has received some magnificent coaching while at FC Bayern,” Hannover sporting director Dirk Dufner told the club’s official website.

“He has appeared in all of Germany’s youth teams over the past years and certainly be of great benefit to us with his technique, athleticism and assertiveness.

“He has made an early decision to join us in order to make the next step in his career and play Bundesliga football. We are convinced by his quality and are delighted that we can assist him in his development.”

Rankovic has made 24 appearances for Bayern II this season, tallying one goal and 14 assists.

Raul Garcia agrees new deal with Atletico

Atletico Madrid midfielder Raul Garcia has extended his current contract at the club until 30 June 2018.

Garcia, who joined Atletico from Osasuna for €13 million in the summer of 2007, has been a colossal figure at the Estadio Vicente Calderón over the past six seasons, helping El Atleti win the UEFA Europa League in 2009/10, the UEFA Super Cup in 2010 & 2012 and the Copa del Rey in 2012/13.

The former Spain youth international, 27, and Atletico sporting director José Luis Pérez Caminero are delighted the 27-year-old has committed his long-term future to the club.

“I am very happy with the agreement. Both the club and I wanted to tie it up because I’m very comfortable here,” told clubatleticodemadrid.com.

Caminero added: “Raul has earned his renewal with a lot of good work.

“He’s been a very consistent player the last two seasons. He is one of the strongest men in the changing room and the proof is that this season he is one of three captains.

“He provides both defensive and attacking option. We are very pleased with this agreement, and we hope he’ll continue here for many more years.”

Garcia — priced at 3/1 to score at anytime when Atletico travel to the San Siro to face AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, 19 February 2014 — has tallied 14 goals and six assists in 33 competitive appearances this season.

Tue 18 February, 2014
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