sport

Szalai makes Hoffenheim switch

Hoffenheim have signed forward Adam Szalai from Bundesliga rivals Schalke for an undisclosed fee.

The Hungary international has joined for an undisclosed fee on a four-year contract to boost the number of attacking options Hoffenheim coach Markus Gisdol will have next season.

"Adam is a perfect fit for our style of play, given the qualities he's got," said Hoffenheim's director of sport Alexander Rosen.

Szalai joins the club who, behind champions Bayern Munich and runners-up Borussia Dortmund, scored more goals than any other side in Germany's top flight last season.

He will join the most prolific Japanese single-season hitman in the Bundesliga, Shinji Okazaki, as well as Germany international Nicolai Muller and Cameroon's Maxim Choupo-Moting on Gisdol's roster.

Given such an attacking style of play, Szalai said he knew Hoffenheim was the right club for him.

"I like the mentality and the character of this team," said the 26-year-old. "If I was ever going to leave (Schalke), then Hoffenheim were always going to be my first choice."

Szalai only joined Schalke a year ago and scored seven Bundesliga goals last season.

More importantly, however, he scored the two goals which helped the Royal Blues see off PAOK Salonika in the Champions League play-off last August.

"It was not an easy situation for Adam," admitted Schalke's director of sport Horst Heldt.

"He would have liked to have played more often than he did last season.

"Even though he did not feature much, he still scored many important goals for Schalke and we wish him all the best for his future."