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Santana linked with Schalke switch

Borussia Dortmund centre-back Felipe Santana is set to sign for arch-rivals Schalke, according to German media reports - but the player has dismissed the link as "pure speculation".

Dortmund's Santana celebrates his winner as Malaga protest
Santana's goal put Dortmund into the Champions League semi-finals

Santana, 27, who scored the dramatic and controversial last-gasp Champions League quarter-final winner against Malaga, is set to bring an end to his five-year stint at the club, Bild said.

The Brazilian has failed to win a regular spot in the starting line-up and is third choice behind the centre-back pairing of Serbia international Neven Subotic and Germany international Mats Hummels.

A release clause in his contract allows him to leave the club for €1 million one year before the end of the deal, according to Bild. Earlier reports had suggested the clause could allow him to leave for €2 million.

Santana could replace former Real defender Christoph Metzelder, 32, who will not extend his stay at Schalke when his contract runs out at the end of the season.

If he moves, he would become the first player to make a direct move between the local rivals since Andreas Moller left Dortmund for Schalke in 2000.

 

"This subject again. Pure speculation," Santana wrote on his official Facebook page, while a Borussia Dortmund spokesman said: "We never comment on any rumours." 

Any transfer could be particularly upsetting for one Dortmund fan, who has named his daughter after Santana. Singer Marco Kuno told local paper Ruhr Nachrichten: “I realised that Santana is a totally cute name for a girl”. 

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