The Albania international signs a three-and-a-half-year deal to swap Bundesliga clubs during the January transfer window and has no fear about joining a relegation-threatened team

Hamburg have announced the signing of defender Mergim Mavraj from Cologne for an undisclosed fee.

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The Albania international, who played in all three of his side’s matches at Euro 2016, has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal with the Bundesliga strugglers.
 
While the 30-year-old accepts that the decision to join relegation-threatened HSV might come as a surprise, he is in no doubt that he has made the right move.
 
“This has certainly come as a surprise for many people but the situation with my expiring contract in Cologne, as well as the great interest from the coach and those in charge at HSV, ultimately led me to take this step,” he told his new club’s official website.
 
“I felt very flattered when I heard about the interest. For me, the human side is very important because I want to be remembered not only as a good player, but also as a person.

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“HSV are a great club with great fans. For many, it’s a dream to play here.”

#effzeh CB Mergim #Mavraj will join @HSV effective immediately. Thanks for your time at FC, Mergim! pic.twitter.com/1UzM4veoOp

— 1. FC Cologne (@fckoeln_en) December 27, 2016

Mavraj, who has not missed a minute of Bundesliga football this season, will be available to make his debut in the league clash with Wolfsburg on January 21.

Hamburg sit in 16th place after 16 matches, three points behind Werder Bremen above them.