Frauen-Bundesliga transfer round-up: Weimar and van der Gragt to Bayern, Ioannidou extends with Essen

It was a day of defensive deals in Germany.

Frauen-Bundesliga transfer round-up: Weimar and van der Gragt to Bayern, Ioannidou extends with Essen
Dutch international Stefanie van der Gragt joins Bayern from Twente. (Photo: VI Images via Getty Images)

It's been a busy day in the Frauen-Bundesliga, with plenty of movement as the transfer window really gets going.

Wednesday was all about the back line, with champions Bayern Munich recruiting a goalkeeper and defender, while SGS Essen extended the contract of a key figure in their back four. 

Defending champions do deals for Dutch duo

Frauen-Bundesliga champions for the past two seasons, Bayern added another two young and talented players to their ranks today as they brought in defender Stefanie van der Gragt and goalkeeper Jacintha Weimar.

The latter, still just 18, signs a two-year deal after impressing with the Netherlands' youth teams, as well as having shown promise at the Association Training Centre CTO Eindhoven.

She told Bayern's official website that she is "very happy" to have joined Bayern after "three successful years" in her homeland. "I am looking forward to this challenge in a new environment and hope to take the next step in this top club and to grow as a player."

Manager Thomas Wörle also spoke about Weimar's arrival, calling her a "well-trained and very talented young goalkeeper."

He continued, saying: "I am sure that she will take the next step in her development with us. I look forward to working with Jacintha."

Meanwhile, fellow Dutch native van der Gragt also signs a two-year deal with Bayern, saying that she is "honoured" to have joined "such a great club," having left FC Twente to do so.

The 23-year-old, who has 26 senior caps for her country, said she is "looking forward" to her "new challenge" and that she wishes to "win as many titles" as possible in the coming season.

Wörle, meanwhile, described van der Gragt as a "very talented, combative and internationally experienced centre-back," who he believes will "strengthen" his team with her "physical robustness" and "winning mentality."

Stefanie van der Gragt brings experience to this title-winning Bayern side. (Photo: Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Stefanie van der Gragt brings experience to this title-winning Bayern side. (Photo: Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Twente seeking a replacement

Back in the Netherlands, Twente are now seeking a replacement for van der Gragt, with a huge void left in the centre of their title-winning defence.

Rumours suggest that they could turn their attention to the exact league they have just lost their star player to as well, with 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam's Maruschka Waldus on their radar.

The 23-year-old defender has struggled with her club this season, making only four league appearances for the first team. 

Therefore, a return to her homeland could be on the cards if Twente come knocking. She last played in the Netherlands in the 2013-14 season for Heerenveen before leaving for Sky Blue in the NWSL.

Ioannidou extends with Essen

The final defensive news in Germany today came from Essen, who announced that Irini Ioannidou has extended her contract with the club - though they did not specify for how long.

Despite being just 25-years-old, the defender is certainly experienced, having won the UEFA Women's Champions League and the DFB-Pokal, twice, with MSV Duisburg as a youngster.

She played 18 games for Essen last season as they finished an impressive fifth place, and will be integral if they are to build on those strong foundations laid.

Ioannidou has spent the last six years with the club and is set to surpass the 100 appearances mark with them in the coming season.

Irini Ioannidou is one of Essen's most valuable players. (Photo: Framba.de)
Irini Ioannidou is one of Essen's most valuable players. (Photo: Framba.de)