Nuri Sahin is returning to Borussia Dortmund. The Turkish playmaker joins the Bundesliga side from Real Madrid in what is undoubtedly the biggest move of the German winter transfer window thus far.
Borussia Dortmund announced Sahin's arrival on loan at a press conference Friday. He previously spent five seasons at the club before leaving for the Spanish giants in May of 2011.
"I am happy to be home again," the 24-year-old said at a press conference announcing his arrival. "I hope I can help the team as soon as possible."
Though contracted with Real Madrid through 2017, he will spend the next season and a half at Dortmund.
Sahin made his professional debut for Dortmund in 2005 at the age of 16 years and 335 days, becoming the youngest player to play in the Bundesliga in the process. He went on to make more than 150 appearances for the club.
The German-born Turkish international midfielder played a pivotal role in Dortmund's 2010-11 championship-winning campaign before moving to Real Madrid for 10 million euros that summer.
His arrival in the Spanish capital was dampened by injuries. He never established himself as a regular in the Real Madrid team, making just four league appearances during his solitary season at the club.
In August of last year he joined the English Premier League side Liverpool on loan, but again struggled for consistent playing time.
"We had already stressed during the 2011 championship celebrations that Nuri Sahin is always going to be a special player for Borussia Dortmund, and that the door was always going to be open if he wished to play for BvB again," said Dortmund's chief executive, Hans-Joachim Watzke.
"Nuri approached us with the wish a few days ago, and we met with him," Watzke added. "We are very happy to welcome another player of his class of character and athleticism."
Dortmund continue winning ways
In Sahin's absence, Dortmund went on to claim a second Bundesliga title in 2012, in addition to winning the German Cup, while largely keeping the core of their side intact.
"I never lost contact with the management, the players and the coaching staff of Borussia Dortmund over the past year and a half," Sahin said.
Dortmund have struggled this year to maintain the consistent Bundesliga form that saw them win consecutive titles. They currently sit third in the league table on 30 points, 12 behind leaders Bayern Munich.
In the Champions League, however, Dortmund have shown their true quality, managing to finish atop a group that included English Champions Manchester City, the Dutch power Ajax, and Sahin's Real Madrid.
Dortmund resume Bundesliga play on January 19 with a match away at Werder Bremen.
Sahin will join the team for a training camp in La Manga, Spain.
Also on Friday, Dortmund announced that left back and Germany international Marcel Schmelzer extended his stay with the club, signing a contract until 2016.
The defender has been an important part of the Dortmund back line that has seen so much success the past several seasons.
He becomes the third key defensive player to sign an extension during the winter break. Sven Bender and Neven Subotic earlier signed extensions of their own.
For Dortmund, the Bundesliga is about finishing as Robin to Bayern's Batman. They took one step toward achieving that goal on Sunday with a narrow victory over Freiburg. In Sunday's late match, Mainz and Hertha drew.
As the alarm bells ring in Stuttgart, Thomas Schneider will take charge against Eintracht Braunschweig. But staying clear of the relegation trapdoor is also the target for Hamburg, Nürnberg, Hannover and Freiburg.