Jermaine Jones joins Besiktas
U.S. international Jermaine Jones, 32, has joined the Turkish SuperLig club Besiktas.
In early January, Jones was told he could leave his old club Schalke and with the transfer window closing this Friday, the U.S. international has finally found a new club in Turkish SüperLig side Besiktas, the Black Eagles announced on Thursday.
"Tomorrow is a big day for me, and I hope everything goes well," Jones told Besiktas TV late on Wednesday.
Jones, who according to recent media reports earned some four million euros per year at Schalke, was on the final stretch of his Schalke contract until 2014.
On Thursday afternoon, Jones tweeted a picture of himself in the Besiktas kit.
With pride and honor I will wear the black eagle jersey. Thanks to be part of this family. I can't wait to Start !!! pic.twitter.com/j8V3lIxgym— Jermaine Jones (@Jermainejunior) January 30, 2014
He has now signed a short-term deal at Besiktas until the end of the season, but the contract includes an option for Besiktas to extend the contract until 2016.
Jones is set to earn 700.000 euros until the summer, and, should he stay at Besiktas, a further 1.8 million euros per year, plus a bonus of 10.000 euros for every match played.
Other than a short loan at Blackburn Rovers, the Frankfurt-born Jones has spent his entire career in Germany, making 165 Bundesliga and 53 Bundesliga II appearances for Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke, whom he joined in 2007.
“Thank you for those wonderful year on Schalke, the fans will always remain in my heart. Something new begins,” Jones took to Instagram on Thursday afternoon.
Besiktas currently rank fifth in the Turkish league, a place that would leave the Black Eagles outside of Europe, having been banned for the 2013-2014 Europa League because of a case of match fixing dating back to the 2010-2011 season.
Schalke general manager Horst Heldt said Jones will get more opportunities to "lay the foundations for a successful World Cup in Brazil."
Jones' contract with Schalke ran through June, but Heldt said it had been terminated by mutual consent.
"Our thanks to him for his efforts in the Schalke jersey over the last seven years," Heldt said. "As soon as the opportunity arises, we will bid farewell again in a worthy manner. We wish him all the best in his professional and personal future."
Besiktas have the option to make the transfer permanent.
He has scored seven goals in 129 Bundesliga games for Schalke and also played in 17 German Cup matches and 36 European matches. Jones has two goals in 38 appearances for the U.S.
While Schalke plays Real Madrid in the second round of the Champions League, Besiktas was expelled from the Europa League by the Union of European Football Associations, which said Besiktas fixed its victory in the 2011 Turkish Cup.