Geoffroy Serey Dié has become the latest player to leave relegated VfB Stuttgart, with the midfielder rejoining former club FC Basel.
The Ivorian returns to the club that he left just eighteen months ago, following Stuttgart’s relegation to the 2. Bundesliga at the end of last season.
He has signed a two-year contract, with the option of a third, with the Swiss champions, but may miss the start of the season as he recovers from an injury picked up at the back end of the last campaign.
A return to St. Jakob-Park
News of the 31-year-old’s departure had been expected after he was omitted from Stuttgart’s team photo shoot this week, and it now appears the acquisition of Anto Grgic earlier in the week was in order to replace him.
Dié was a regular starter for Stuttgart following his arrival in January 2015, playing 36 times in the Bundesliga with just the one goal.
However he sidelined for the last six games of last season with a torn tendon, and he was badly missed as the club lost all six and tumbled out of the top flight.
He now returns to a club that he previous joined in 2013 from FC Thun, appearing 43 times over a span of two years. He also has 22 international caps for Ivory Coast.
Finishing what he started
Stuttgart’s sporting director Jan Schindelmeiser confirmed that the player had stated his desire to leave German to return to Basel, and that it was “the most appropriate solution for everyone involved” to accept.
Dié thanked the club and its fans, adding he had a “great time” in Stuttgart, although he was sad that it ended with relegation. “I wish VfB all the best for the future,” he said, “and hope for a quick return to the Bundesliga.”
Meanwhile on his return to Basel, he stated that he had unfinished business with the club, saying: “I’m pleased to return to FC Basel. I started a task here in 2013, that now I would like to finish.”
Quotes via VfB Stuttgart and FC Basel