Leicester City sign Germany and Hannover goalkeeper Zieler

Leicester, June 3 (IANS) English football champions Leicester City on Friday announced the signing of Hannover goalkeeper and German World Cup 2014 winner Ron-Robert Zieler on a four-year contract.

“Leicester City have moved to bolster their goalkeeping options with the addition of Germany international Ron-Robert Zieler from Bundesliga side Hannover 96,” Leicester said in a statement.

“The 27-year-old shot stopper joins for an undisclosed fee and has put pen-to-paper on a four-year deal to keep him at King Power Stadium until 2020.”

British media have reported that Leicester paid Hannover 3.5 euro as the transfer fee for Zieler.

Zieler told Leicester’s site: “It feels great coming to Leicester and joining the club after they’ve had such a great season — it’s really nice to be part of the club now.

“I’ve been shown around the training ground and it looks very good and I’ve been to the stadium – I heard about the great atmosphere and the great fans, so my first impression is very good.”

Zieler adds significant experience to the Leicester City squad as they begin both the defence of their English Premier League (EPL) title as well as a first-ever UEFA Champions League campaign in 2016/17.

Not only does Zieler boast more than 200 appearances for Hannover in Germany, as well as in the Europa League, he was also part of Joachim Löw’s Germany squad that won the FIFA World Cup in 2014.

The Cologne-born ‘keeper has six Germany caps to his name, having made his debut in 2011 and has also won the UEFA Euro U-19 Championship with his country.

Domestically he has been an ever-present in Hannover 96’s previous five Bundesliga campaigns, but Zieler’s career actually began in England.

He joined the Manchester United academy in 2005, where he played alongside current Leicester players Danny Drinkwater, Matty James, Danny Simpson and Ritchie De Laet.

Despite not appearing for the first team at United, the goalkeeper did take in a two-game loan spell with Northampton Town during the 2008/09 League 1 campaign before eventually joining Hannover on a free transfer in the summer of 2010.

Zieler’s performances in Germany helped Hannover 96 to four impressive top-10 finishes during his first four seasons with the club, including a run to the Europa League Quarter-Final in 2011/12, when they went out to eventual winners Atletico Madrid.

Zieler will join up with his Foxes team-mates when they return to training in July, ahead of an exciting pre-season schedule which includes International Champions Cup matches against Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Celtic.



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