German clubs spend almost $100 million in January window

BERLIN (AP) " Bayer Leverkusen signed Jamaican forward Leon Bailey on the last day of the transfer window Tuesday to send January spending by Bundesliga clubs to almost $100 million.

The 19-year-old Bailey arrived from Belgian club Genk and signed through 2022, ninth-place Leverkusen said.

"This lad was also high on many other European clubs' wish list," Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voeller said. "That's why we're even happier that we could see off such strong competition."

Bailey is eligible for the club's Champions League campaign despite playing in the Europa League for Genk this season.

"He is an extraordinarily fast and tricky player who will boost our attack," Voeller said.

Leverkusen did not disclose a transfer fee but German media reported the club was paying some 12 million euros ($12.8 million) for the player.

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DARMSTADT

The last-place team ended a busy day with the signing of former Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Schalke midfielder Hamit Altintop on a free transfer.

The 34-year-old Altintop was released by previous club Galatasaray earlier this month. Altintop's twin brother Halil plays for Bundesliga rival Augsburg.

Darmstadt earlier signed 26-year-old defender Wilson Kamavuaka from Greek club Panetolikos and Denmark under-21 defender Patrick Banggaard from FC Midtjylland, while letting Florian Jungwirth move to the United States and terminating Victor Obinna's contract by mutual agreement. The Nigerian made only two league appearances and one in the cup after his arrival in the offseason.

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AUGSBURG

Augsburg brought Moritz Leitner back to the Bundesliga from Lazio. Leitner, who played for Augsburg on loan from Borussia Dortmund for the 2010-11 season, signed a deal to 2021. The 24-year-old Leitner made only two league appearances for Lazio after switching from Dortmund in the offseason.

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FREIBURG

Freiburg signed 21-year-old Swiss midfielder Vincent Sierro from FC Sion, while sending Jonas Meffert and Lucas Hufnagel away on loan, to Karlsruher SC and Nuremberg, respectively.

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HAMBURGER SV

Hamburger SV had already signed defensive midfielder Walace from Brazilian side Gremio late Monday for a reported fee approaching 10 million euros ($10.7 million).

The relegation-threatened club " Hamburg is three points from safety " presented the new signing Tuesday, when the 21-year-old acknowledged that he knew little about his new team but "I know that the club was never in the second division. And that will stay that way."

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OVERVIEW

The 18 Bundesliga clubs invested over 90 million euros ($96 million) in new players in this transfer period, easily beating the previous record of 65 million set two years ago, news agency dpa reported. Higher revenue from TV deals means the big-spending trend is likely to continue.

Wolfsburg, which has struggled this season, invested about 29.5 million euros ($31.5 million) in players like Yunus Malli from Mainz and Riechedly Bazoer from Ajax to improve upon its current position of 14th " four points above the relegation zone. The purchases were facilitated by Julian Draxler's move to Paris Saint-Germain.

Promoted Leipzig boosted its squad despite impressing in second place with the signing of 18-year-old central defender Dayot Upamecano from sister club Red Bull Salzburg.

Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick said it was the hardest transfer of his career to ensure the Frenchman's arrival.

Borussia Dortmund also invested in the future, beating Real Madrid to the signing of 17-year-old Swedish prospect Alexander Isak for a reported 9 million euros ($9.7 million).

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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