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Red Bull Salzburg (RBS) have signed a Spanish defender while denying interest in a striker from the country.

Bulls snare Betis centre-back

Red Bull Salzburg (RBS) have signed a Spanish defender while denying interest in a striker from the country.

The Bulls said today (Tues) they secured the services of Chema Anton. The 22-year-old will join the Austrian vice champions from Betis Sevilla. RBS previously snared Swedish midfielder  Rasmus Lindgren from Dutch club Ajax Amsterdam and Finnish defender Petri Pasanen who formerly played for Werder Bremen in the German Bundesliga. Brazilian striker Leonardo Santiago will join them as part of a loan cooperation with Dutch team NAC Breda.

Club bosses vehemently rejected reports that they were trying to sign FC Barcelona striker Jonathan Soriano. The 25-year-old goal machine mostly played for the Spanish giants’ second team in the Segunda Division last season. “He definitely will not join us,” Bulls coach Ricardo Moniz stressed today. The Dutchman recently said he expected Sturm Graz to defend their title. Six of the Austrian Bundesliga’s 10 team managers opted for the star-studded Bulls.

Red Bull Salzburg’s league rivals Rapid Vienna – who face newly promoted FC Admira when the new season kicks off this Saturday (16 July) – are eyeing up a Slovak keeper, according to reports. Sport newspapers have it that the Green-Whites want to sign Dunajska Streda goalkeeper Jan Novota. Rapid coach Peter Schöttel recently explained he wanted an experienced keeper to join the squad. This announcement increased the pressure on Helge Payer. The national team goalkeeper looks back on an injury-stricken season. Ramund Hedl, Rapid’s former number one choice keeper, quit his active career a few weeks ago. He now works as the senior squad’s goalkeeping coach.

Adnan Mravac returned to SV Mattersburg. The Bosnian defender played for the team of Franz Lederer already between 2002 and 2009 before trying himself at KVC Westerlo in Belgium. Lederer is the longest-serving coach in the Austrian top-flight league. He took over from Turk Muhsin Ertugral in 2004. Slovakian centre-back Peter Chrappan left the Burgenland-based side captained by Michael Mörz.

Magna Wiener Neustadt will be Mattersburg’s first opponents in the new season on Saturday. Magna signed Argentine defender Fernando Troyansky from Austria Vienna and ex-TSV Hartberg striker Günter Friesenbichler.

Zlatko Junuzovic may leave Austria Vienna if the club were to receive a satisfying offer by a German club. Julian Baumgartlinger has already left the team of Karl Daxbacher. He will play alongside ex-Rapid ace Andreas Ivanschitz at Mainz 05 who sold Christian Fuchs to Schalke 04.

Meanwhile, some of Europe’s best clubs are in Austria to get in shape for upcoming challenges. Serbian side Partizan Belgrade recently stayed in Lienz, East Tyrol. Croatian team Hajduk Split are currently in the Carinthian spa resort Bad Kleinkirchheim. German Bundesliga side VfL Wolfsburg are expected in Bad Kleinkirchheim tomorrow. Wolfsburg’s league rivals VfB Stuttgart are residing in Längenfeld, Tyrol, at the moment.

English Premiership giants Arsenal – who stayed in Bad Waltersdorf, Styria, in the past nine years – opted for a tour across Asia to create business ties and attract fans in the economically booming area. FC Valencia will come to Carinthian capital Klagenfurt this Sunday (17 July). The team won the Spanish league six times, most recently in 2004. Defending Greek league winners Olympiacos are currently staying in the Tyrolean town of Seefeld.

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