Cologne complete Cabanas deal

January 30, 2006

BERN, Switzerland, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Struggling Bundesliga side Cologne have completed the signing of Swiss international midfielder Ricardo Cabanas from Grasshoppers Zurich.

The 27-year-old playmaker joins up again with former coach Hanspeter Latour who left Grasshoppers for Cologne earlier this month.

In a statement issued on Sunday night, Grasshoppers said they had offered the team captain a massively improved contract to stay with the club, but understood his decision to move.

English Premier League side Sunderland had also held talks with the player.

According to unconfirmed Swiss media reports, Cabanas has signed a contract until 2010, with Cologne paying Grasshoppers 1.0 million Swiss francs ($779,400) in compensation.

Cabanas was captain of the Swiss under-21 side who reached the 2002 European Championship semi-finals and has since established himself as a regular member of the senior side who have qualified for this year's World Cup.

Cologne are currently second-bottom of the Bundesliga after going 13 league matches without a win.