Freiburg complete Philipp Lienhart loan signing from Real Madrid
Freiburg have confirmed the signing of Philipp Lienhart from Real Madrid, with sporting director Klemens Hartenbach saying they had been attracted by the defender's potential to develop into a top player.
Lienhart, 20, has joined the Bundesliga club on a one-year loan deal with a view to a permanent move.
The Austria under-21 international has been a regular with Madrid's Castilla youth side since joining from Rapid Vienna in 2015.
However, he has made only one appearance for Madrid's senior side, and with Castilla having failed to secure promotion from Spain's third tier, a move has been completed to Bundesliga side Freiburg.
"Philipp's a young centre-back, capable of development," Hartenbach told Freiburg's official website. "His focused and clear style of play had attracted our attention already when with the Austrian national youth teams.
"In our talks, he already committed himself to us at an early stage. It was important to have the perspective to work with him longer for just one year."
Lienhart said he felt Freiburg was the right place to further his career.
"I soon felt that Freiburg was the right place for me to make the next step," he said. "I am looking forward to the challenge."
Freiburg coach Christian Streich welcomed the move earlier in the week, saying that Lienhart's experience in Spain should be a positive, and he was looking forward to getting the player under his guidance at the Schwarzwald-Stadion.
"[The transfer] will work and that's great," he said. "An Austrian U21 player who has been at Madrid for some time, and learned a lot there. He'll join us highly motivated. Those are the right ones for us, those who must want to learn a lot."
Streich becomes the latest player to leave the Castilla setup this summer, with Uruguay youth international Fede Valverde having joined Deportivo La Coruna on loan, and Enzo Zidane having completed a move to Alaves.
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.