Bundesliga News

Köln updates:
Horst Heldt nets major transfer, Funkel reveals that he's finished after the season

By Peter Vice

Two major stories concerning 1. FC Köln broke late Sunday evening. Journalists at footballing magazine Kicker discovered that Horst Heldt and the managerial team have scored apparently a major transfer coup for the coming season, whichever league the club ends up playing in. 

In an another major development concerning next season, the local Kölner Express newspaper revealed that head-coach Friedhelm Funkel won't be remaining with the club after the 2020/21 campaign.

Friedhelm Funkel.
Friedhelm Funkel.Photo: GEPA Pictures/Roger Petzsche

Germany's Kicker magazine reports that relegation-threaten FC Köln are on the verge of signing of Rapid Wien captain Dejan Ljubicic. This information was obtained from Kicker's Austrian Bundesliga bureau. 


The 23-year-old defensive midfielder, who can also play center back and even further afield, is a €3 million transfermarkt listing set to arrive in the cathedral city on a free. 

The skipper of the Vienna side for the last two seasons was reportedly on the ledger of Eintracht Frankfurt, but Horst Heldt convinced him to commit to the Domstädter instead. If this proves true, it demonstrates strong administrative vigor on the part of the sporting director. 

In an equally relevant piece of news, Geißböcke head-coach Friedhelm Funkel acknowledged that he felt his age during his recent appointment as the club's "rescue trainer". The 67-year-old Funkel had previously indicated that he wished to retire after being fired from Fortuna Düsseldorf in January 2019. 

"I already notice the strain," Funkel told the Kölner Express, "It was all from zero to one hundred in one week. No, I just don't want to do another whole year. I'm fit, but I don't want to put myself through all that." 

Funkel remains by far the oldest trainer in the Bundesliga. His closest counterpart, Hansi Flick, is 11 years his junior. Funkel revealed to the newspaper that he and Heldt had agreed that he would only serve six weeks in the position, whether the club gets relegated or not. 

"At lunch time, I lie down for an hour and a half," Funkel noted, "That helps me recharge the batteries. You shouldn't underestimate things at my age. That's all well and good for six weeks, but not again for a full season."


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