A protracted saga to procure a much-needed defensive midfielder ends happily for the Breisgauer. Mutliple sources suggests another €7 million purchase is around the corner.
A reported €10 million transfer fee constitutes an all-time record for the small-market Baden-Württemberg club, smashing the €7 million spent last autumn to purchase Vincenzo Grifo from Hoffenheim.
"We really wanted to sign Baptiste and are now very happy that he is with us," Freiburg sporting director Klemens Hartenbach said in a press release, "with his 'spectacularly unspectacular' approach on the pitch, he will bring the necessary balance and stability to our game."
The negotiations for this particular transaction had drawn out for several long weeks. Earlier this month, the French club caused quite the stir when they emphatically denied that Santamaria would be transferred and claimed to have rejected an €11 million offer. German footballing magazine Kicker maintained that no such offer had been made.
With the confusion finally cleared and the wind finally back in Freiburg's administrative sails, both German magazine Sportbild and German website ligainsider.de report that the Badeners are close to signing central midfielder Race Krunic away from AC Milan for an estimated €7 million. The 26-year-old Bosnian international is reportedly Streich's first choice to pair with Nicolas Höfler in a double-six set-up.