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Monday, 20 July 2009 16:36

Maniche signs two-year Cologne deal

Club president delighted with transfer

German Bundesliga club Cologne have confirmed the capture of Portuguese international midfielder Maniche on a two-year contract.

The 31-year-old was presented at the Rhein Energie Stadion this afternoon, where he will link up in midfield with former international colleague Armando Petit. Ex-Benfica man Petit enjoyed a successful first year in Germany last term, having moved from the Estadio da Luz in the summer of 2008.

Maniche had been a free agent since terminating his contract with Atletico Madrid in May, and had been weighing up offers from across the continent. Turkish club Ankaragucu were thought to be close to concluding a deal for the player after offering a lucrative three-year deal, but Maniche has opted for Germany.

Cologne announced last night that the completion of routine medical examinations was all that stood between the deal becoming official. Those procedures were carried out this morning and Maniche was unveiled in the club’s shirt after signing a contract valid for the next two seasons.

“Maniche is a big name in European football,” said club president Wolfgang Overath. “We are proud that he is joining us. With his class and experience he can help us progress, especially in what will be a particularly difficult second year back in the Bundesliga.”

Meanwhile, first-team manager Zvonimir Soldo added: “I am delighted that Maniche is here. For a while now we had been in contact with him and I’ve long thought he is a player that suits us.”

Related article: Maniche leaves Atletico

By Sean Gillen

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