By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Köln updates: Paqarada signs on a free, Duda headed to Verona?

Germany's cathedral city side confirmed the singing of St. Pauli left-back Leart Paqarada on a free transfer after the season on Monday. The fullback may be considered a replacement for current captain Jonas Hector, who is pondering retirement.

In other Köln news, Effzeh head-coach Steffen Baumgart confirmed at a presser today that anchoring midfielder Ondrej Duda had once again been left out of his matchday squad. The Slovak may be on the move to Italy's Serie A.
Köln's signing of FC St. Pauli vice-captain Leart Paqarada is complete. The reported upon deal, which sees the 28-year-old join die Geißböcke on a free transfer this summer after his contract contract expires, was confirmed on Monday just prior to a pre-match presser held by the club. Köln managing director Christian Keller called Paqarada "the best left-back in the second division".

"We are very pleased that we were able to convince Leart to join us  and that he will start playing for FC from the coming season," Keller noted in a statement, :Leart has shown a consistently high level of performance in recent years and has great quality, especially when playing with the ball. If he now also consistently develops his game against the ball, then Leart brings a total package that can really benefit our team."

Paqarada is a native of nearby Aachen and spent part of his youth academy days with Köln's neighbor, Leverkusen. The player himself remarked that he considered the move to be something of a homecoming in his own statement. After making 230 appearances in Germany's lower division, Paqarada also noted that one of his childhood dreams had come true.

"I'm incredibly proud to be able to wear the FC jersey starting next season," said Paqarada,"Returning to the city where I grew up and which has always felt like home to me is an indescribable feeling. I can't wait to play in Müngersdorf for the first time."

Pawarada plays the same position as current captain Jonas Hector, who is reportedly considering retirement after his current contract expires at the end of the season. Both Keller and head-coach Steffen Baumgart again emphasized that the valued skipper would be given all the time that he needs to make his final decision.

Speaking about the match ahead against FC Bayern München tomorrow, Baumgart also revealed why anchoring midfielder Ondrej Duda was not included in his matchday squad for the recent win against Bremen. The Effzeh gaffer confirmed that he didn't believe that the 28-year-old's performance in training camp merited selection.

Duda - who has been suspended by Baumgart before - now almost surely looks to be on his way out of the cathedral city. The city's local "Kölner Express" newspaper reports that Hellas Verona - after taking on two other players from German football earlier this month - might be interested in taking the Slovak international on loan.

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