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Football

Buckley signs deal with Dortmund


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Buckley is serving a six-week ban for pushing a referee

BERLIN, Germany -- South Africa striker Delron Buckley has signed a four-year contract with Borussia Dortmund sealing an end-of-season transfer from Bundesliga rivals Arminia Bielefeld.

Buckley, 27, has cost Dortmund a transfer sum of 425,000 euros ($555,300), his new club said in a statement. His contract runs until June 30, 2009.

"With Delron Buckley, we get a left-footer in attack as well as a quick and deadly finisher who fits into my plans," said coach Bert van Marwijk, who plans to use the South African as a left winger.

Hans-Joachim Watzke, managing director of Dortmunds's listed business, stressed how affordable the deal was for a club that staved off financial collapse earlier this season after reporting the biggest debts in German soccer history.

"We have signed one of the most prolific strikers in the Bundesliga under very favorable conditions," he said.

Buckley has almost certainly played his last match for Bielefeld after receiving a six-week ban for pushing a referee in the German Cup semifinal last week.

Attracted interest

He scored 15 goals this season and was reported to have attracted interest from English Premier League side Blackburn Rovers. He will be the fifth Bielefeld player to leave the club before the start of next season.

Werder Bremen have already signed Germany defender Patrick Owomoyela, Albania midfielder Ervin Skela will join Kaiserslautern and German defender Benjamin Lense is headed for Nuremberg.

Another Bielefeld defender, Matthias Langkamp, also sorted out his exit on Wednesday, signing a four-year deal with VfL Wolfsburg in a 1.2 million euro transfer.

Promoted Bielefeld reached the last four of the German Cup, where they lost to Bayern Munich, and are expected to retain their place in the top flight.


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