The next signing: Rapid land Christoph Knasmüllner
SK Rapid has strengthened the first team squad further in preparation for the 2018/2019 season: with Christoph Knasmüllner, the club has attracted an Austrian midfielder who has already showcased his talents in the Bundesliga. The 26-year old arrives from second tier English side Barnsley, signing a contract until summer 2021. The fee remains undisclosed.
Knasmüllner (born in April 1996) was in recent seasons one of the most sought after attacking talents in Austrian football. His unmistakable ability led him as a youngster to Bayern Munich, where he rose through the ranks to play in the reserves. He then swapped Bavaria for Italy and Inter Milan U19's, before moving to top-flight German outfit FC Ingolstadt. After spending a couple of seasons in Germany, Knasmüllner returned to Austria with Admira, where he consistently produced eye catching performances and continued to develop. In 2017/18 he bagged 12 goals in just 18 appearances, putting himself at the top of the goalscoring charts and piquing the interest of Barnsley Football Club. A winter transfer to Oakwell materialised for Knasmüllner, who now returns to Austria and SK Rapid after the Tykes suffered a difficult season on the pitch, which led to the club's eventual relegation.
Sporting Director Fredy Bickel: "The signing of Christoph Knasmüllner represents an important transfer for us. In recent seasons he impressively displayed his offensive qualities. It was clear to us that we couldn't pass up the chance to sign such a talented player who had come onto the market and was keen on a move back to Austria. Christoph has the potential to fill the void created by Louis Schaub's departure, and we’re convinced that he’ll quickly bring extra quality and help create a more flexible and variable attack."
Christoph Knasmüllner: "During my youth it took me a little while to recognise which path was the correct one. After developing well at Admira, it didn’t quite work out as I had hoped in England. Therefore I’m extremely happy that SK Rapid came back in for me and we could agree a move. I already know quite a few of my new team mates as well as the fans after playing in front of them for Admira. Hence, I'm quietly confident I’ll be able to quickly settle into my new surroundings. We've got some real quality in the team and I’ll do my part to make sure we can pick up trophies over the long term!"
Simultaneously, we can announce the departure of striker Matej Jelic, whose contract with the club has been cancelled. Most recently on loan at HNK Rijeka, Jelic made 54 appearances in Green & White over two seasons, scoring nine goals.