Sheffield Wednesday close in on German defender

Sheffield Wednesday are in talks to sign Arminia Bielefeld captain Julian Börner, The Star understands.

By dom.howson1
Thursday, 09 May, 2019, 17:15

It has emerged the centre-half is close to agreeing a deal with the Championship club, having held discussions with the Owls' hierarchy in England this week.

Reports in the German media claim Börner reached a verbal agreement to extend his Arminia contract beyond the end of this season but the 28-year-old changed his mind following Wednesday's approach.

Samir Arabi, the sports director of the German club, said: "We would have liked to have extended with Julian and the agreement was reached. Therefore, we are disappointed that in this case the given word does not matter. Nevertheless, we wish Julian all the best for his future in England."

The left-sided defender will become a free agent this summer and could become the Owls' first summer signing.

In an interview, Börner said: "It is true that the DSC and I had already verbally agreed on further cooperation for some time, but so far there had been no signing of the contract.

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"In the short term, I received a request from England, which I wanted to examine thoroughly. Because playing there has always been a lifelong dream of mine, which I can now fulfil. This change includes a sporting and economic component that I could not refuse.

"I am very sorry that I had to withdraw my pledge now. I had five wonderful years at the DSC. Bielefeld has become my home. I wish the DSC Arminia all the best and much success."

Börner, capped twice at Germany Under-18s level, started his career with Energie Cottbus before joining Arminia in the summer of 2014. He has played nearly 150 times in Germany's second-tier.

Arminia are currently ninth in the standings with two matches remaining.

Wednesday are eager to bolster their defensive ranks, having released Daniel Pudil and seen player of the season Michael Hector return to parent club Chelsea.

It is no secret boss Steve Bruce is eager to bring in reinforcements as he aims to build a team capable of challenging at the top end of the league next season.

He said: "We are working on two or three things now. We will see what happens in the next week or so."