LEVERKUSEN, Germany (AP) — Bayer Leverkusen signed promising Czech striker Adam Hlozek from Sparta Prague on Thursday to form a potentially exciting partnership with compatriot Patrik Schick.
The Bundesliga club said the 19-year-old Hlozek, who was reportedly also a target for Borussia Dortmund, had signed a contract through June 2017.
“Hlozek is a player who can develop a goal threat as a hanging striker in the center or coming in from the wing,” Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes said. “His versatility, power and, above all, his strong shot will give our offensive game even more variation.”
Leverkusen scored a club record 80 goals in the Bundesliga last season, with Schick chipping in 24. The club last month extended Schick’s contract, ending speculation he could opt for a transfer to the Premier League.
Hlozek is Leverkusen’s first signing ahead of the new season, when it will be competing in the Champions League after finishing third last season. Kicker magazine reported the German club was paying up to 18 million euros ($19.3 million) for the striker.
The right-footed Hlozek also finished third with Prague last season, scoring nine goals and setting up 14 more in 33 Czech league games. He was 16 when he made his debut for the team and since clocked up 105 league appearances.
“I’ve been watching Bayer Leverkusen all the time over the past few weeks,” Hlozek was quoted by Leverkusen as saying. “The team plays beautiful football. Being part of this team fills me with great hopes and expectations.”
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports