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Transfer Rater: Balotelli to West Ham

Football Whispers
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 By Mark Lovell

Jann-Fiete Arp staying at Hamburg, stunning Bayern Munich

KLAGENFURT, Germany -- After months of speculation linking him with Bayern Munich, Jann-Fiete Arp has signed a new contract at Hamburg until 2020.

Arp, 18, reportedly caught the eye of a host of top clubs including Bayern, Chelsea, Borussia Dortmund and Juventus after scoring two hat tricks and another goal for Germany in five matches at the European Under-17 Championship in May 2017.

But Arp then signed a contract with Hamburg through to 2019, saying at the time it "doesn't make any sense to join Chelsea as a 17-year-old."

This year, the teenage striker was hotly tipped to join Bayern with just a single year remaining on his contract at Hamburg, who were relegated for the first time in their history last season.

Reports in Germany had suggested Arp had already agreed terms with a €5 million annual salary on a four-year deal at Bayern. But earlier this month, Hamburg reportedly turned down a €2.5 million bid from Bayern with Sporting director Ralf Becker saying: "the offer does not match our expectations."

And upon signing his new deal on Friday, Arp said he never considered leaving leaving the club despite moving to the second tier.

"It was never an option for me to leave the club after relegation," he said. "I didn't want to leave HSV especially during such a tough time, moreover I wanted to repay the club what it deserves. So, it was immediately clear to me that my journey here at HSV isn't finished yet."

Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge had nothing but kind things to say about Arp's decision.

"I think his decision is a very good one, there are many reasons for such a young player to remain at HSV this season," the Bayern chief said. "I wish him and HSV a good season and immediate promotion back to the Bundesliga."

Arp's early performances at the former European Cup winners have caught the attention, drawing comparisons to Tottenham and England star Harry Kane.

He also impressed for Germany at the 2017 U-17 World Cup, scoring five goals in five matches, by which time he had already become the first player born in 2000 to play in the Bundesliga, making his debut as a late substitute for HSV against Werder Bremen.

Germany's Youth Employment Protection Act directs that employees aged 17-and-under are only allowed to work between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m., meaning the teenage striker needed special dispensation from the authorities to play in the Bundesliga for HSV on a Friday evening.

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