The German club 1. FC Köln has found a backup for the German national team left-back Jonas Hector. Both the German magazine Kicker, and the German paper Express have reported that the Cologne-based club will be signing the Serbian left back Filip Mladenović from BATE Borisov.
Originally from Čačak, Serbia Mladenović has been an important factor at BATE Borisov’s successful Champions League qualification as Mladenović was a key player when BATE defeated Partizan Belgrade in the Champions League playoffs.
The 24-year-old played all six Champions League group matches for BATE Borisov this season scoring two goals, and achieving an average whoscored.com score of 7.08.
At BATE Borisov, Mladenović was part of a large Balkan contingent as BATE also has the Serbian players Nemanja Milunović and Aleksandar Jevtić under contract as well as the Montenegrin Nemanja Nikolić who was born and raised in the Serbian city of Valjevo, and like Mladenović is a Red Star Belgrade product.
Mladenović, who according to transfermarkt.de is valued €1.8 million, was signed by BATE Borisov on a free transfer in March 2013. According to rp-online.de, Cologne are expected to pay between €1.5 million and €2 million for the left-back, which would result in a handsome profit for BATE Borisov.
The Belarusian club has been long considered the best-run club in the post-Soviet republic, with the ability to unearth cheap talent with an eye to sell them at a profit. BATE’s consistent participation in the Champions League will guarantee that they will remain a prime destination for players who want to break into the big European leagues, and Mladenović’s transfer will reinforce this reputation. Long-term Mladenović could become a replacement of Jonas Hector, who could leave Cologne in the near future.
Mladenović is expected to arrive in Cologne before the club’s midseason preparations begin on January 4.