"The time in hoffenheim gave me a lot of pleasure. But it has also become too long. I had the feeling that I still had a lot more to do in my career," said the 27-year-old bosnian at his presentation in stuttgart.
Ibisevic’s signature on a treaty that was to run until 2016 sealed a deal that was a great relief to all involved. Vfb sees him as a much-needed boost for the attack, where cacau, julian schieber and pawel pogrebnjak have only managed a meager five goals so far this season. "He’s a classic goal-scorer," said sports director fredi bobic. "He knows the language, he knows the federal league and he has placed his name there for over years."
TSG’s fresh money and the departure of their next long-time top performer also fit in well: the team from hoffenheim is pushing ahead with the rebuilding of their team and, after demba ba (newcastle united), luiz gustavo (bayern munchen) and chinedu obasi (schalke 04), has now let go its fourth former promotion hero in just twelve months.
After auben, manager ernst tanner emphasized via press release: "vedad ibisevic is a deserving player who has made a significant contribution to the young history of TSG. We did not want to put stones in his way." In fact, however, after four and a half years and 43 goals in 92 league games, the relationship between the club and the goal-scorer was strained. "We’ve scored the most points this season without vedad," tanner said at the training ground.
Ibisevic also made no secret of the fact that he thinks vfb is a better address than hoffenheim. In stuttgart, there was "much more potential," a stadium twice as big and, above all, tradition, he said. "The fans here know how to create atmosphere."
Womoglich his change now also triggers a chain reaction on the transfer market. The hopefuls are trying to find a replacement for the bosnian international and have their eyes on srdjan lakic from vfl wolfsburg, who has also been traded to stuttgart for a long time. "This is also a very interesting player," confirmed tanner. "We are however with wolfsburg and with him in no way united." Should the 28-year-old croatian want to move to TSG, he had to be prepared to earn "significantly less than ibisevic," tanner said.
At vfb, on the other hand, the end of the striker search could result in the departure of pogrebnjak. "If a club comes knocking, we won’t put any stones in its way. But so far there has been no request," explained bobic. The russian will leave the club in summer anyway, when his well-paid contract expires.
Spatestens in the summer could then also the next hoffenheimer change to stuttgart. For sejad salihovic is also in the talk at the vfb. "He’s a very good player, no question about it," ibisevic says. "But i will be fine here without sali."