1. FC Union Berlin - Capital Domination

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1. FC Union Berlin
January + February - 2017

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Fixtures:

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The fixtures have been coming thick and fast since the end of the winter break and we have done decently, taking 10 points from 7 league games and progressing into the German Cup semi final at home to Dortmund with a win over Leverkusen. The main disappointment to the month was the fact we lost to 3 other teams who are battling for European places in Dortmund, Werder Bremen and Borussia Monchengladbach. However, we did manage to pull off a fantastic win 2-0 away at Wolsburg thanks to a goal from Marrone and a rare goal from defensive midfielder Radosevic.

League Table:

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We still sit in 5th and we could still realistically finish anywhere between 2nd and 11th, although our form would have to drop off pretty significantly to finish in the bottom half.

Player Stats:

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New signings Gunter and Rojas have both had strong starts to their careers in Germany, with Rojas scoring 3 and assisting 1 in his 5 starts. Both of our full backs have played every single game this season and we're hoping they manage to stay fit as we don't have the best cover in the area. Marcus Berg has definitely picked up from his early season form and now has 13 goals in 20 starts.

Other News:

1)
We had another youth intake this month and once again, it was quite disappointing. I don't see any players making it into our first team but hopefully someone proves me wrong.

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2)
I've also asked the board to ask for a new feeder club so hopefully we'll be able to report back on a new feeder club in the next update.

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Next update will be either a March update or a March and April update as I am tempted to start doing monthly updates as opposed to bi-monthly, but I haven't made a decision yet...
 
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1. FC Union Berlin
March - 2017

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Fixtures:

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Only 3 games in March but we did manage to take maximum points! We started with a 2-0 away win at Kaiserslautern thanks to a brace from Berg and followed it with a comfortable 3-0 win against bottom side Hannover, with Berg, Rojas and Milik getting on the scoresheet. The big victory of the month though came against the powerhouse of German football Bayern Munchen. It was a pretty even game of football in front of a packed Stadion An Der Alten Forsterei, and we capitalised on a mistake in the 70th minute which allowed Milik to slot home the winner and secure us a big victory.

League Table:

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Still in 5th! However, we have now opened a nice 9 point gap to 7th place Stuttgart with 8 games to go. We also still have a very real chance of qualifying for the Champions League by finishing in the top 4. April will be a big month with the following set of fixtures...

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Player of the Month - Thorgan Hazard

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Missed the Hannover game with a knock but was man of the match in the two games he did play with 8.9 and 9.0 ratings.

Player Stats:

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Donati and Kalinic are now the only 2 players who have played in every competitive game so far this season after Stafylidis missed 1 game this month through suspension. Marcus Berg had another good month up top and is now the 4th top scorer in Bundesliga so far this season.

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Next update will be an April review, can we make it to the German Cup final for a second year running and continue our European push in the league...
 
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1. FC Union Berlin
April - 2017

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Fixtures:

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Another very strong month for us sees us advance into the German Cup final for a second year running after a 2-1 win after extra time over Dortmund and take 12 points from a possible 15 in the league. We started the month with a comprehensive 4-0 win away at relegation threatened Frankfurt, with goals from Berg x2, Danny Wilson and Rojas. Goals from Gunter, Marrone and Berg then helped us to a 3-1 win at home to Mainz and we then got one over on our bogey boys RB Leipzig, winning 1-0 away with a goal from the Italian maestro Marrone. Marrone then helped himself to a brace to see off Leverkusen 2-1 before the big 2-1 win over Dortmund after extra time in the German Cup semi final. Ecuadorian loanee Rojas bagged the two goals and I'll definitely be looking to bring him in on a permanent after his loan expires. We went to Champions League rivals Schalke for the last game of the month and went 1-0 up early thanks to Danny Wilson, however with the game coming just 3 days after the cup semi we were very tired in the second half and they took advantage to turn the game around and win 2-1.

League Table:

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We've guaranteed European football next year with a top 5 finish, however we now hope to qualify for the Champions League as we sit a point above Dortmund who are 5th with 3 games to go. In a perfect world we would finish top 3 to avoid having to go through a qualifier! Here are our fixtures for May...

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Player of the Month - Luca Marrone

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Could have went to one of a few player but Luca bagged 4 goals this month from midfield and put in 2 man of the match performances.

Player Stats:

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Donati got injured this month and missed his first few games of the season, leaving Kalinic as the only player to play all the games this season. January signings Rojas and Gunter have both proved to be fantastic additions to the squad.

[HR][/HR]
Next update will be a May update with the last 3 games of the season. I'll do a seperate update for the German Cup final like I did last year. Can we secure Champions League qualification in just our 2nd year in the Bundesliga?

 
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1. FC Union Berlin
May - 2017

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Fixtures:

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That's exactly what we wanted! 3 wins from 3 against Freiburg, Monchengladbach and Hamburg meant we weren't relying on other results and we qualify for the Champions League group stages next season!

League Table:

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We finish in 3rd with 70 points, only 4 points off the league winners Bayern Munchen in the end. We looked on course to finish 2nd during the last match day before Schalke scored an 88th minute winner in their game to jump back above us. Overall it has been a fantastic season, building upon what we achieved last year and to qualify for the Champions League in just our 2nd year in the Bundesliga is quite the achievement.

Player of the Month - Joao Rojas

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A goal and an assist against Freiburg in a man of the match performance followed by two solid performances in the other two games. Once the season ended and we were given our budget for next season we agreed a contract with him to sign him on a free as his contract was expiring at Mexican side Cruz Azul.

Player Stats:

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Hazard was fantastic for us this season and one of the best players in the entire league. As such, we have awarded him a new bumper 40k a week contract in order to remove his release clause so if anyone wants to take him off us in the summer they will have to offer stupid money as my coaches now rate him as a world class player. Similarly, Kalinic has also been offered a new contract to remove a release clause, with the big Croatian heading into his 4th season as our first choice next season.

[HR][/HR]
Next update will be the German Cup final update. Can we go one step further than last year and bring the trophy back to the capital?
 
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1. FC Union Berlin
German Cup Final - 2017

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Pre-Match:

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Our third ever German cup final, losing the previous 2. Di Matteo has been very complimentary of the work I have done at Berlin in the press. Once again we will have the slight home advantage in the final with it being played at Hertha Berlin's Olympiastadion.

Lineups:

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We're at full strength expect up front where Milik replaces the injured Marcus Berg. Schalke choose to line up with a 3-5-2 and we'll have to watch out for Draxler as most of their play comes through him.

The Match:

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We did it! For the first time in the clubs history we are the winners of the German Cup! We didn't make it easy for ourselves though, chucking away the 2-0 half time lead given to us by a brace from Marcus Berg. The game headed into extra time where Thorgan Hazard won us a 99th minute penalty which Milik converted to bag himself a cup final hatrick and secure his place in FC Union Berlin history!

[HR][/HR]
Next update will be a season 4 preview, can we build a squad capable of challenging in both the Champions League and the Bundesliga?
 
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1. FC Union Berlin
Pre-Season - 2017/2018

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Transfers:

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A very busy and pretty difficult transfer window for us this season. We were handed around £10,000,000 to spend and then sold Radosevic to Tottenham for £17,500,000, thinking that would give us enough of a boost to adequately strengthen the squad, forgetting that our transfer revenue had been dramatically slashed last year due to the fact were constantly losing money throughout the season (which isn't actually an issue as once the prize money comes in our finances look very good). Therefore, I did have to abuse the loan market as much as possible, although I have included future fees where I could to avoid a big turnover in the squad again next year. The big 3 sales were that of Radoseviv, Berg and Quirring...

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Onto the incomings, we brought in Kana-Biyik on a free to provide cover at CB and Rojas on a free after his successful loan spell last year.

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The first incoming transfer with a fee attached was a replacement for Radosevic in the shape of Muhamed Besic from Newcastle for £10,000,000. I actually prefer Besic slightly as a player and therefore to make £7,500,000 in swapping the two, I feel we've got a good deal. Brazilian striker Malcom joined for Corinthians for £6,000,000 and he could be someone who stays with the club long term as he has great potential and is good enough to be a starter for the team already. The final permanent transfer with a fee involved was to bring in young Austrian midfieler Lovric from Sturm Graz for just £1,000,000. He'll be 4th choice CM this season and has the potential to become a solid Bundesliga midfielder.

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The 3 loans with fees involved saw Benteke, Srna and Feghouli arrive at the club. Benteke will offer great competition for places up front with Malcolm, whilst Feghouli will provide backup to Rojas on the right wing and Srna will provide experienced backup for Donati at RB. Future fees of £5,000,000 for Benteke and £3,400,000 for Feghouli have been agreed and may be taken up if we get any more money to spend depending on their performances.

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The final 4 loans saw Fofana and Rekik join from Man City, Cuevas join from Chelsea and Meret join from Udinese. Rekik will challenge Danny Wilson for his starting role whilst the other 3 will provide backup for their respective positions. Future fees of £1,000,000 for Fofana and £2,500,000 for Cuevas have been agreed. I'm hoping we may be able to convince the board to give us some extra money to spend since we now have £46,000,000 in the bank and if we make any more transfers I'll put them in the August update.


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Squad:

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I'm happy enough with the squad I have assembled. I would like a new first choice centre midfielder and a new backup DM but only currently have around £1,300,000 and £18,000 in wages left to spend. Hopefully the board increases that budget before the end of the window. I would like to have more domestic talent in the squad, however the combination of poor youth intakes and better value for money elsewhere has limited the opportunity for this so far. It may be something to build towards in the coming years though.

German Super Cup:

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A second trophy as Union Berlin manager is in the bag as we beat Bayern on penalties to take home the German Super Cup. We could have won it in normal time after Benteke missed a first half penalty, however missed penalties from Lahm and Hojbjerg in the shootout allowed Stafylidis to convert the decisive penalty and bring the trophy back to the capital.

[HR][/HR]
Next update will be an August update, can we get off to a solid start in the league and what will our first ever Champions League group look like?
 
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1. FC Union Berlin
August - 2017

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Transfer:

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We couldn't ask the board to increase the budget and so made just 1 more transfer in August, bringing in Kelechi Iheanacho from Man City on loan till the end of the season to provide extra backup up front.

Fixtures:

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A fantastic start to the new season as we win our first 3 games of the season, keeping 3 clean sheets in the process. The winner at Stuttgart on the opening day came from Ecuadorian winger Rojas, whilst the 2-0 home win over Freiburg came courtesy of an own goal and one from Luca Marrone. The final game of the month saw us beat Kaiserslautern 2-0 with a brace from Benteke, his first goals in a Union Berlin shirt.

League Table:

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We sit top after just 3 games as the only team to still have a 100% record. The board only want Europa League qualification this year, however I'm looking for another top 4 finish.

Player of the Month - Kostas Stafylidis

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Part of the defence which kept 3 clean sheets and a constant threat going forward down the left. He attracted plenty of interest from Premier League clubs over the summer but I think our asking price of £20,000,000 put them off making a bid.

Other News:

1)
The board have agreed to upgrade both the training and youth facilities once again.

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2)
We have been given a decent Champions League group considering we were 4th seeds in the draw. We're in group F with Real Madrid, Zenit and Anderlecht.

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[HR][/HR]
Next update will be a September update, including our first ever Champions League group game at home Anderlecht!
 
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1. FC Union Berlin
September - 2017

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Fixtures:

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Another pretty solid month for the club, taking 8 points from 4 Bundesliga games and drawing at home to Anderlecht in the Champions League. The draw in the Champions League was slightly disappointing considering it's probably the easiest game in the group on paper, however we are still unbeaten in all competitions this season. Wonderkid Malcom got his first 2 goals for the club in the games against Schalke and Koln, however it was a goalless month for Benteke which is frustrating.

League Table:

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4 points clear at the top which is nice but obviously it is only 7 games into the season and I don't expect it to last.

Player of the Month - Thorgan Hazard

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Started all 5 games and got an 8+ rating in 4 of them and a 9.0+ rating in 2, he really is the player who gets us playing and an injury to him would affect us massively.

Player Stats:

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The usual suspects at the top of the average ratings so far. The surprise package so far would probably have to be Seko Fofana who has impressed when asked to fill in and is making me seriously consider activating his buy now clause.

Other News:

1)
We have our first feeder club in the shape of the MLS side Colorado Rapids, with both the first option on their players and the ability to hopefully expand our marketing opportunities in America.

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2) We also brought a new Head of Youth Devlopment into the club from Middlesbrough. After poor intakes in the past few seasons, I felt like we needed a top class HOYD in order to attempt to bring through the best players possible. He has some very decent stats for the role and has a professional personality, which will hopefully rub off on the players coming through the academy.

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[HR][/HR]
Next update will be an October review, with a trip to the Bernabeu up first in the Champions League!
 
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Match Day 2 - Real Madrid 1 - 1 FC Union Berlin

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A packed Santiago Bernabeu were disappointed as their side could not manage to take all 3 points against the Champions League newcomers.

In arguably the biggest night of the club's history, FC Union Berlin held 11 time European champions Real Madrid to a 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu. The Champions League newcomers rode their luck at times and caught the Real Madrid front line on a rare off night as Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo were both very wasteful in their finishing, however the German Cup holders were unlucky not to win the game in the 87th minute when Iker Casillas pulled of a fantastic save to deny Algerian international Sofiane Feghouli from giving the German cup holders all 3 points.

Berlin manager Scott Houghton sprung a surprise in his starting line up, changing his centre half partnership from the weekend tie away at Leipzig, bringing in Manchester City loanee Rekik and summer signing Kana-Biyik for Turkey international Koray Gunter and Danny Wilson. The change did not seem to have too much of an affect on the Berlin defense early on, restraining Madrid to mainly shots from distance. The breakthrough for Madrid came in the 28th minute when Bosnian international Besic was penalized for a foul off the ball inside the penalty area on Karim Benzema, giving the chance to James Rodriguez to make it 1-0 from the penalty spot. James converted the penalty and many expected that Real would see the game out from there.

Union Berlin however, had other ideas. Just 4 minutes after Madrid had taken the lead with a penalty, Berlin had a penalty of their own. A corner was whipped in from the left by man of the match Thorgan Hazard and Austrian midfielder Buchel was dragged to the floor by Sergio Ramos. Forgotten Tottenham striker Christian Benteke stepped up to take the penalty and fiercely smashed the ball past Iker Casillas to record the 5th goal of his loan spell and bring the Germans level on the night.

The second half proceeded in far more of an expected pattern, with Madrid dominating the possession and creating numerous chances. Cristiano Ronaldo missed the target from close range twice in the 63rd and 72nd minute, whilst Karim Benzema saw an 82nd minute header cannon off the crossbar. Despite this, the best chance of the second half fell to the Germans as Real Madrid overcommitted and left themselves open at the back. Seko Fofana, who recently had his loan deal from Manchester City turned into a permanent £1,300,000 transfer, drove his team forward before slotting in Feghouli down the right with a perfectly timed pass. The Algerian international took the ball into his stride and released a shot which looked destined to be heading towards the top left hand corner, only for a the much maligned Iker Casillas to prove he is still a very useful keeper for Real Madrid by tipping the ball over the bar and ensuring the game finished as a 1-1 draw. The result leaves Real Madrid top of the group after 2 games with 4 points and Berlin sit in 3rd with 2 points after successive draws.

[HR][/HR]
This was just a little test to see how a match report would be received. I generally want to stick to my usual format of my stories but have been thinking of ways to add extra stuff into the story so it's not just monthly updates. I would probably on do these for big matches or special occasions, but I'm just looking to see if people think it's worth it or whether I should just keep to my normal format?

 
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PSG set to sign Thorgan Hazard

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Sky Sport News understands that Union Berlin have reached an agreement to sell their player of the season Thorgan Hazard for a fee in the region of £40,000,000. Whilst many Berlin fans will be extremely disappointed at the decision to move on their top player, there can be no doubt that the deal represents some fantastic business for the club after Hazard arrived on a free at the start of last season following a successful loan spell with the club.

It is believed the Union Berlin are already searching for a replacement for Hazard, with reports that they have had a bid accepted for Sampdoria winger Joaquin Correa. The Argentinian had big things expected of him when he arrived in Italy from Argentina in 2013, however he has not hit the heights expected of him. It is our understanding that nothing has been concluded at this point and many would argue that it would be a big risk to replace such a pivotal player in the Union Berlin side with a player who has not played a lot of football in the past two seasons.


Union Berlin fans can get in touch and let us know how they feel about the sale of Hazard and the reports of his replacement on twitter @SkySportNewsHD

[HR][/HR]
Next update will actually be the October review, with confirmation of any transfer deals which take place and the results from the games played in October...
 
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1. FC Union Berlin
October - 2017

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Fixtures:

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This month has been a bit more of a mixed bag as far as our results go. We started off the month with the brilliant 1-1 draw away at Real Madrid. We were a little tired heading into the league game on the weekend against Wolfsburg and I feel like it did have an effect on our performance, stumbling to a 1-1 draw at home with a Marcel Buchel equalizer. The first game after the international break at home to Hoffenheim was made a lot harder than it should have been when Besic got himself sent off after 35 minutes for two yellow card offences. We fell 2-0 down in the first 10 minutes of the 2nd half and despite getting a goal back through Luca Marrone, we could not take anything from the game. We bounced back in the Champions League midweek with a 2-0 win away at Zenit, this time helped out by a red card received by Zenit midfielder Javi Garcia. Marrone and Besic were the goalscorers as we moved to 5 points from our first 3 Champions League games. Benteke scored the only goal of the game as we won 1-0 at Hamburg the following weekend, before a heavily rotated side continued our defence of the German Cup with a 3-0 win at home to Bielefeld.

League Table/Champions League Group:

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We are still sitting at the top of the Bundesliga, although it is far tighter below us with only 4 points separating us and Hoffenheim in 8th. In the Champions League we have made an unbeaten start and look good to still be in Europe after Christmas, whether that be in the Champions or Europa League.

Player of the Month - Luca Marrone

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3 goals from centre midfield this month, popping up in the right areas at the right time.

Player Stats:

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Hazard continues to show us how important he is to the team and there is no doubt he will be missed when he makes his move to PSG in January. As I briefly mentioned in the Real Madrid game report, I have taken up the £1,300,000 clause to sign Fofana in January after his performances so far this season impressed me.

Other News:

1)
Thorgan Hazard's £40,000,000 transfer to PSG has been confirmed. In his place we spent £12,500,000 on bringing in an Argentinian winger Joaquin Correa from Sampdoria. Statistically Correa is actually a better player than Hazard, but whether this replicates itself on the pitch is yet to be seen.

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[HR][/HR]
Next update will probably be a November review...
 
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FC Union Berlin - Our New Transfer Strategy

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An address to our fans...

The past few years have seen our club go though it's most successful years in it's history. Under the leadership of our new manager Scott Houghton, we have found ourselves in the Bundesliga for the first time in the club's history and are currently in our third season in the league. Last season we managed to win the German Cup and secure our highest ever finish in the club's history and qualifying for the Champions League for the first time.

However, in achieving this success we have received large amounts of criticism from past players, opposition managers and some of our own fans for being overly reliant upon foreign talent and not giving enough chances to German players. Currently our first team squad does not have one player who qualifies to play for the German national side and that is not acceptable. Here at Union Berlin we pride ourselves on being a club of the people and in chasing success we feel as though we may have sacrificed some of the true heart of the club. For that, we sincerely apologise.

After long discussions between myself, Head of Youth Development Damien Comolli, manager Scott Houghton and representatives from the large number of fans with shares in the club, the club has decided that from the beginning of the 2019/2020 season, the first team squad must at any time have 16 players who qualify to play for the German national side. We do not want to exclude foreign players from having the opportunity of playing for our wonderful club, however we feel as though the heart of our club should be similar to that of our fan base.


FC Union,
unsere Liebe,
unsere Mannschaft,
unsere Stolz,
unsere Verein,
Union Berlin,
Union Berlin.

Club President
Dirk Zingler.

[HR][/HR]
Decided to shake the save a little bit and to be fair I do believe a lot of what I have wrote in this update. In chasing success I have maybe neglected the some of the values of the club. This should also make the next 3 or 4 transfer windows a bit more interesting as we try to get the squad ready to fit the new self imposed rules of the save...

 

Lippo255

Member
Jun 3, 2010
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Interesting new direction! Look forward to you raiding some home grown talent!

Loving this story btw, silent reader for a while now ;)
 
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Interesting new direction! Look forward to you raiding some home grown talent!

Loving this story btw, silent reader for a while now ;)
Cheers mate, got a few irons in the fire in regards to spending the Hazard money on some German players who'll walk straight into the first team. I've seen some fantastic looking German regens at the other clubs but they want stupid money so I'm probably better off going for players who are more the finished article for the time being.

We better have a ****** good youth intake this year, haven't had a decent one yet. Saying that, this lad I got in my first youth intake has developed a lot more than I had initially predicted and may make it here as a squad player, currently having a pretty good loan spell in the 3rd tier...

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FC Union Berlin Announce Triple Signing

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Joshua Kimmich and Shkodran Mustafi, two of the new signings to join up with Union Berlin in January.

With just under two months to go before the excitement of the transfer window is upon us once again, FC Union Berlin have already been very busy in spending the money received from the sale of Thorgan Hazard on talent in fitting with their new transfer policy.

The first signing they have confirmed is the £11,000,000 signing of Valencia centre half Shkodran Mustafi. The German international has been a regular part of the Valencia side over the past couple of seasons however he has jumped at the chance to return to his homeland and play in the Bundesliga for the first time in his career. Mustafi has been quoted in a Spanish newspaper as saying 'I loved my time at Valencia, but I'm looking forward to a new adventure at a club on the rise in my home land of Germany'.

The second signing the club has confirmed is to bring in goalkeeper Kevin Trapp from Eintracht Frankfurt for £5,250,000. It has been reported that the club were also in discussions to sign Bernd Leno from Leverkusen, however felt they were getting more value for their money in the signing of Trapp. An experienced Bundesliga goalkeeper who excels in shot stopping, he has jumped at the opportunity of returning to the Bundesliga after Frankfurt were relegated last season.

The final component of the triple signing was to bring in 22 year old German midfielder Joshua Kimmich from Bayern Munchen for £9,500,000. Union are expected to pay Bayern £3,000,000 up front and then a further £4,500,000 over the following 12 months. The rest of the fee will be in add ons. After arriving from Leipzig in 2015 with high expectations, the technical midfielder could not quite break into a highly competitive Munchen team and has commented that he is extremely excited to get back to playing football and that Union Berlin are a very good fit for the type of footballer he is.

It is not just incoming transfers that the club has been dealing with though, with Damir Kreilach the subject of a £2,000,000 from Dinamo Zagreb. It is understood that the offer has been accepted and Kreilach is keen on the move back to his homeland in search for more regular football. Also departing the club in January is summer bosman signing Kana-Biyik, who is expected to join Red Bull Salzburg after a £1,500,000 bid was accepted. Here at SkySport News we also understand that the club has made goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic for sale after the signing of Trapp, although no club has yet been willing to meet his asking price.


[HR][/HR]
Next up will be the November review...
 
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