Last season’s Bundesliga runner-ups, Schalke 04, made a move to boost their offense for both Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League play today signing Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar from AC Milan and Spanish midfielder/winger Jose Manuel Jurtado from Atletico Madrid.
Huntelaar, 27, was obtained for a 13 million euro transfer fee as the summer transfer window headed to its close. Huntelaar’s greatest success came at Ajax between 2005 and 2009, where he scored 76 goals in 92 matches. He signed with Real Madrid in 2009, but fell into disfavor despite scoring 8 times in 20 games. He signed with AC Milan, but also had trouble fitting in with the Italian giants although he scored 7 goals in 25 games. AC Milan’s recent signing of Swedish superstar striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic made Huntelaar expendable. Huntelaar has made 36 senior national team appearances for the Netherlands, scoring 16 goals, including the game-winner in the Netherlands 2+1 win over the Cameroons in this summer’s South Africa World Cup.
Jose Manuel Jurado is a product of the Real Madrid youth system, and played a handful of games for Los Merengues before signing with cross-town rival Atletico Madrid. In 88 games for Atletico, he scored 10 goals, and scored 9 times in 35 appearances while on loan with Mallorca. Jurado started in Altletico’s 2010-2011 season opener against Sporting de Gijon, scoring the first goal in Atletico’s 4-0 win.
Huntelaar and Jurado join former Spanish international striker Raul and defender Christoph Metzelder as incoming players on the Schalke squad with ties to Real Madrid. Coach Felix Magath has remade his Gelsenkirchen club, although they have started off the new campaign slowly, losing their first two games. After the international break, Schalke 04 resume action September 10 against Hoffenheim.