Schalke have confirmed the signing of Borussia Dortmund centre-back Felipe Santana.
Santana, 27, who joined Dortmund from Figueirense in 2008, is the first player to have made the switch between the fierce rivals since Andreas Moller left for the Royal Blues in 2001.
Despite playing 111 games and scoring seven goals for the Westfalenstadion side, the Brazilian failed to win a place as a permanent starter, with the centre-back pairing of Neven Subotic and Mats Hummels keeping him on the sidelines.
The transfer fee for the defender is believed to be €1 million, triggering a clause in Santana’s Dortmund contract, while he has signed a three-year deal at his new club.
“We are delighted that Santana has chosen Schalke 04. He excels with his aggressive one-on-one play and reliability, he can also score goals. Moreover he has been in the Bundesliga for five years,” Schalke general manager Horst Heldt said.
Santana was equally thrilled with having completed the move to Gelsenkirchen, but said it was a hard decision to make.
“It is a great personal matter for me to thank the fans, my team-mates and the club officials for my wonderful time in Dortmund. To leave the club was a very difficult decision for me,” Santana said, adding that he signed a contract extension last season, despite not being given regular game time.
“I need to be a starter to put my dream of playing for the Brazil side into practice. That is my sporting goal.”
Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc thanked Santana for “five great, successful years” and wished him all the best for his future career.
Santana became a Dortmund hero when he scored the injury-time winner during the Champions League quarter-final second leg against Malaga in April.
Meanwhile, earlier on Tuesday, Jurgen Klopp’s side announced the signing of Werder Bremen defender Sokratis.