Senegal's Salif Sane joins Schalke after leaving Hannover

Senegal defender Salif Sane
Senegal's Salif Sane is set to play in the European Champions league next season

Schalke have announced the signing of Senegal defender Salif Sane on a four-year-deal from German rivals Hannover.

The 27-year-old's deal at Hannover was due to run until June 2020, but he has excercised an opt-out clause in his contract to seal the move.

"Salif Sane is a flexible defender who has experience in the Bundesliga," Schalke sporting director Christian Heidel told the club website.

"We're delighted that he's decided to join Schalke 04."

Sane, who moved to north-western Germany in May 2013 and has made 131 appearances, scoring 13 times for Hannover, is not looking too far ahead but firmly focused on Hannover.

"I'm really excited to become a part of Schalke 04 in the summer. Until then, however, my full focus will be on my remaining games for Hannover 96."

On Thursday both Hannover and Sane said the decision to part ways was not an easy one.

"He makes use of his opt-out clause. That it is not easy for him to leave Hanover, is also clear in the video, with which he addresses directly to you!" the statement read.

In his video Sane said: "I can confirm that I will be leaving at the end of the season. I've had a fantastic time here.

"I'm grateful to all and Hannover will forever stay with me. But before I leave I'm committed to defending the club colours and I thank everyone for the love these past years.

Born in France to Senegalese parents, he made a total of 70 appearances in the French top flight for both Nancy and his previous club Bordeaux, scoring five goals.

Eligible for France, the 6ft 4inch player emulated his older brother Lamin, by opting to represent the West African country.

Capped 14 times by Senegal, Sane has become a regular fixture under coach Aliou Cisse and will be doing his best to break into the World Cup squad and earn a regular spot in Russia.

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