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SC Freiburg have confirmed the signing of Matthias Ginter from Borussia Monchengladbach. The 28-year-old centre-back will make the switch on a free transfer at the end of the season, at which point his contract with Gladbach expires.

“I wanted to do something very special again in my career and there is nothing more special for me than returning to Sport-Club and my home area,” said Ginter, who was born in Freiburg.

“The development of the entire club, the potential of the team, as well as the special way of interacting with club officials in recent weeks – to find all this in my home area can be described as a stroke of luck in today’s times. It’s simply a perfect fit,” added the German international.

Ginter will replace Nico Schlotterbeck, who will be leaving Freiburg for Borussia Dortmund.

The 28-year-old returns to Christian Streich‘s high-flying side, who are currently competing for a top-four finish and face Leipzig in this month’s DFB Cup final, on an undisclosed deal and will wear the number 28. His signing comes the day after Nico Schlotterbeck’s departure to Borussia Dortmund was confirmed.

“Matze can give our defence stability and also help us in build-up play with his ability on the ball. We want to take on the big challenges of next season as a team and club together with Matze,” said sporting director Klemens Hartenbach.

A Return to the Boyhood Club

Ginter – who is a native of Freiburg im Breisgau – rose through the youth ranks of his home-town club before making a goalscoring Bundesliga debut under current coach Streich shortly after turning 18. He went on to make 81 appearances for Freiburg in the German top flight between 2012 and 2014, earning him a move to Borussia Dortmund.

The 6’3 central defensive specialist lifted the German Supercup in his first match with BVB and would later collect a DFB Cup winners’ medal in 2017. In all, Ginter played just over a century of Bundesliga games for Dortmund before deciding to test the waters at Gladbach.

‘Matze’ – as he is known among his teammates – has been a defensive mainstay with the Foals for the last five campaigns, his reliability and positional versatility winning him plenty of plaudits. To date, Ginter has scored 11 times in 178 games in all competitions for Die Fohlen, who will conclude their 2021/22 campaign with matches against Eintracht Frankfurt and Hoffenheim.