In a deal surely influenced by the potential retirement of squad captain Jonas Hector, it looks as if FC St. Pauli left-back Leart Paqarada will move to Germany's cathedral city after the season.
|Leart Paqarada.||Photo: FC St. Pauli|
The German Kosovar has racked up 230 2. Bundesliga appearances during a nine-year career in the lower division spent playing for SV Sandhausen and his current Hamburg-based club. Köln chief personnel manager Christian Keller, speaking to the local Geißblog following a test fixture between his side and FC St. Pauli yesterday, confirmed interest in the €1.5 million-valued defender.
"I think he is the best left-back in the second division and I would love it if he played for us," Keller said of Paqarada, "It feels like half the Bundesliga is chasing him. He's been playing consistently for years, can intelligently read the game exceptionally well, possesses great technical ability, and is very confident in his build-up play."
Keller's words make clear that die Geißböcke are not merely seeking a new left-back, but also proactively searching for someone with proven leadership capabilities. The NRW-club also appears to be proactively addressing the future of the left-back position by loaning out Germany U21 international Noah Katterbach to St. Pauli's cross-town rivals Hamburger SV until the end of the season.
Katterbach's move to the HSV, with whom he is already training, is expected to be officially confirmed early this week.