Hamburg seal Neves swoop
Highly-rated Brazilian to replace Van der Vaart
Last Updated: August 31, 2008 2:47pm
Neves: Hamburg new boy
Hamburg have completed the signing of highly-rated Brazil international Thiago Neves.
The playmaker has agreed a five-year contract with Hamburg and joins the German club from Fluminense.
Neves had been linked with Manchester City and Atletico Madrid, but will replace Rafael van der Vaart at Hamburg.
The 23-year-old recently won a bronze medal with Brazil at the Olympic Games and Martin Jol is confident Neves can fill the boots of Van der Vaart.
"He has about the same qualities as Van der Vaart, he is an excellent player for the position of a No.10," said the Hamburg coach.
Hamburg's sport director Dietmar Beiersdorfer expects the schemer to become a key player for the club this season.
Beiersdorfer told the club's official website: "Thiago Neves is a young player who has recently been grabbing the attention in Brazil, not only at club level, but also at the Copa Libertadores.
"With his creativity and his scoring prowess, Thiago will be a crucial part of our attacking game."