- Associated Press - Monday, January 30, 2017

BERLIN (AP) - Hamburger SV signed defensive midfielder Walace from Brazilian side Gremio late Monday to boost its chances of avoiding its first relegation from the Bundesliga.

The 21-year-old Walace, whose full name is Walace Souza Silva, signed a 4 1/2-year deal through June 2021 and will take part in his first training session with his new teammates on Tuesday, Hamburg announced.

“Walace is physically robust and strong in challenges. We’re delighted that he’s playing for Hamburg straight away,” club sporting director Jens Todt said.

Hamburg, the only remaining founding member of the Bundesliga never relegated, was second from bottom and three points from safety after the start of the second half of the season.

“I hope I can help the club in the current difficult situation,” said Walace, who will wear the No. 12 jersey in Hamburg.

An Olympic gold medal winner with Brazil, Walace broke into Gremio’s first team shortly before his 19th birthday after playing for the club’s under-19s. He won the Brazilian Cup with Gremio in December and has made two appearances for Brazil.

Hamburg did not disclose the transfer fee. Kicker magazine reported the club was paying almost 10 million euros ($10.7 million) for the player, with possible add-ons based on success.

HOFFENHEIM

Chile forward Eduardo Vargas left Hoffenheim for Mexican side Tigres UANL.

Vargas joined Hoffenheim in August 2015 from Italian club Napoli, scoring two goals and setting up four more in 29 league games. However, he made only five substitute appearances in the league this season, and another in the cup.

Vargas has 68 appearances for Chile.

WOLFSBURG

Wolfsburg re-signed Iran winger Ashkan Dejagah to bolster its attack after a disappointing Bundesliga season.

Dejagah, who won the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg in 2009, signed a deal to the end of the season after arriving from Qatari team Al-Arabi. Wolfsburg said in a statement there was an option to extend the deal by another year.

The Volkswagen-backed club was 14th in the 18-team league, just four points above the relegation zone.

Wolfsburg finds itself in a difficult situation at the moment and I want to help ensure we come out of it as quickly as possible,” said Dejagah, who can also play up front.

The 30-year-old Dejagah played 156 competitive games for Wolfsburg from 2007 before switching to English Premier League side Fulham in 2012 and Al-Arabi in 2014.

Dejagah has 37 caps for Iran.

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