Cologne snap up Bayern starlet

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By Thomas Zeh
New Cologne boss Marcel Koller has made Bayern Munich starlet Markus Feulner his first signing after the German Under-21 international agreed to join the club during the winter transfer period in January.

Both clubs refused to reveal financial details about the move and Cologne are hopeful that Feulner will play a central role in their attempts to avoid relegation back to the Second Division.

The youngster, who had been dubbed the ‚Ç£German Owen Hargreaves‚Ç¥ due to obvious similarities in their style of play and in their curly hair, had been linked with 1860 Munich and Hamburg, but surprisingly opted for Bundesliga bottom side Cologne.

"Cologne is able to offer a long-term perspective. I'll get the chance to play regularly and I am even prepared to follow the club into the Second Division,‚Ç¥ declared Feulner.

The young midfielder featured in a handful of UEFA Champions League games for the German champions, but saw his chances of first-team football being hindered by the tough competition in Ottmar Hitzfeld's team.

Feulner has committed himself to the Rhein-Energie Stadium until 2006.