Wednesday 7 January 2015 17:15, UK
Germany and Bayer Leverkusen defender Philipp Wollscheid has signed for Stoke City on loan with a view to a permanent move.
The 25-year-old centre-half has played twice for Germany and was linked with several English clubs last summer, but remained in the Bundesliga on loan at Mainz and played five times.
It is the first signing in the January transfer window for Stoke boss Mark Hughes.
Wollscheid, who has also played for Nuremburg and has made more than 50 Bundesliga appearances for Leverkusen, completed the switch earlier on Wednesday before training with his new team-mates for the first time.
He's joining us on loan, which gives him an opportunity to get to know the club and us an opportunity to get to know Philipp
Hughes told the club's website: "Philipp is a player we've been aware of and have been tracking for some time and he will add to the competition for places in the centre of our defence.
"He's got presence, technically he is good, he has played at a high level and he has gone for big money in the past and to get a German international at relatively young age is a good deal for the club.
"He's genuinely excited about the prospect of playing in the Premier League and is confident of making a big impression as a Stoke player."
Chief executive Tony Scholes added: "Philipp has an impressive pedigree in the game. He is keen to make an impact in the Premier League and we're delighted he has chosen to join Stoke City.
"He's joining us on loan, which gives him an opportunity to get to know the club and us an opportunity to get to know Philipp."
Sky Sports News reporter Rob Dorsett told Sky Sports News HQ: "He's 6ft 5in so is a big presence. It would initially be a loan deal with a view to a permanent deal. He's had two caps for the German national team so Germany think highly of him."
Stoke have had a reasonable first half of the Premier League season and are currently sitting in 11th spot.