Berlin, May 3, IRNA-New German Bundesliga title-holders Bayern Munich have signed Iranian star striker Ali Karimi from next season until 2007, Bayern's official online site announced Tuesday following a day of contradictory reports on an alleged imminent Karimi deal.
"Ali Karimi is a speedy, agile and goal-threatening offensive player. He is Asia's Player of the Year. I am happy to have him on our squad," Bayern coach Felix Magath said.
Karimi who will join the Bundesliga record champs on a free transfer from United Arab Emirates club Al-Ahli received a one-year contract with a mutual option until June 30, 2007.
The former Pirouzi player is the third Iranian player in a Bayern jersey following Ali Daei and Vahid Hashemian who both failed to meet the high expectations of the Bavarian team.
Karimi deal aimed at Bayern's marketing strategy in Asia: analysis
Bayern Munich's latest signing of Iranian football superstar Ali Karimi is part of the club's aggressive marketing strategy in Asia, the media reported on Wednesday.
"The 'Asian Maradona' has also become interesting (for Bayern) because he is a star on the (Asian) continent and this will result in new marketing possibilities for the club," the online site of Der Spiegel news magazine said in an analysis of the major transfer coup.
It added the short duration of Karimi's contract with Bayern indicated that there were not only sports reasons to sign him.
Meanwhile the online portal sport 1 reported that Bayern have hired a former German sports journalist whose role is to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy for the club in Asia.
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