Salihovic commits to Hoffenheim

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The Independent Football

TSG Hoffenheim midfielder Sejad Salihovic has pledged his long-term future to the Bundesliga newcomers, signing an extended contract running until the summer of 2012.

The 24-year-old Bosnia international has helped his club rise from the third tier of German football, having joined Hoffenheim from Hertha Berlin just over two years ago.

The club’s sporting director, Jan Schindelmeise, said: "Sejad is a wonderful example for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim's rise.

"He has continued to develop from the third flight to the Bundesliga and our team is unthinkable without him these days. I'm delighted that we continue to go our way together."

Meanwhile, Hoffenheim owner Dietmar Hopp has warned off any club considering making a bid for Salihovic’s compatriot, Vedad Ibisevic, in the January transfer window.

The 24-year-old has already scored 13 goals in 11 Bundesliga games this season, sparking talk of interest in him from a number of major clubs across the continent.

However, a defiant Hopp said: "I have not invested so much in my club to allow others to come along and start picking off our best players.

"All the players are under contract and are part of an exciting project. We don't need the money and we won't be selling anyone."

Newly-appointed Borussia Monchengladbach coach Hans Meyer has admitted that his side face a major task in trying to pull clear of the Bundesliga relegation zone.

Meyer’s new charges have earned just seven points from their opening eleven games of the campaign, with a 2-1 home loss to Eintracht Frankfurt last weekend proving particularly damaging.

Meyer admitted: "At the moment the league situation is very, very bad. We have a great deal of problems on our minds.

"We have to make sure we don't lose any more ground before Christmas. We have got to keep on working, there is no other way. We will not give up."

Meanwhile, Hamburg defender Thimothee Atouba has admitted that he is still some way away from a return to action, having suffered a torn Achilles tendon in the recent UEFA Cup tie with MSK Zilina.

Atouba told his club’s official website: "I am in less pain day by day and I am doing therapy every day.

"I can work on an exercise bicycle if I am careful, but I cannot walk yet because it is too painful."