Rapid stars exodus fears over Nuhiu signing

Speculations that Rapid Vienna will have to let their two best strikers go have intensified after the club announced the signing of a young talent.The club’s executive director Alfred Hörtnagl said today (Tues) Austrian Under-21s national team ace Atdhe Nuhiu will join Rapid for next season from league rivals SV Ried. Nuhiu, who is 197 centimetres tall and signed a three-year deal with the option for another year, has been compared with Stefan Maierhofer, who is 202 centimetres tall, and left Rapid last year for English Premiership side Wolverhampton Wanderers.Rumours that Croat Nikica Jelavic and Albanian Hamdi Salihi will leave Rapid – who finished the season in third – are meanwhile increasing. Jelavic, who scored 18 league goals, is linked to Portuguese giants Benfica and a string of German Bundesliga clubs. AS Monaco are interested in signing former SV Ried star Salihi who netted 17 times in the 2009/2010 season.Rapid bosses might know more than the club’s supporters, and Nuhiu could be their reaction to ongoing transfer talks. “Nuhiu has a lot of potential at his young age of 20,” Hörtnagl said.Nuhiu, who was born in Priština, Kosovo, is Rapid’s third signing this summer after defender Mario Sonnleitner and midfielder Christoph Saurer. Sonnleitner will join the team managed by Peter Pacult from ÖFB Cup winners Sturm Graz, while Saurer played for Austria Vienna before joining LASK Linz in 2007.Kapfenberg meanwhile announced Russian Makhmadnaim Sharifi, 18, will join them from FC Lokomotiv Moscow. Czech midfielder Marek Heinz reportedly has no future in the team of Werner Gregoritsch.Champions Red Bull Salzburg said they signed German keeper Niclas Heimann, 19, from Chelsea. The team managed by Huub Stevens recently announced German keeper Gerhard Tremmel and Austrian midfielders Stefan Hierländer and Jakob Jantscher will also join them. Former Bayern Munich star Alexander Zickler left the “Bulls” to join LASK Linz who came seventh last season.Turkish giants Besiktas announced Sturm Graz transferred 400,000 Euros for Gordon Schildenfeld. The Croatian defender played a convincing season for Sturm on a loan deal last year. The 25-year-old was linked with a move to vice champions Austria Vienna for weeks.