Table-topping Polish league striker and Latvia international Artiom Rudnev has signed to German side Hamburg, his current club Lech Poznan said today. With 22 goals this season, Rudnev was the top striker in Poland's first division, helping Lech secure a slot in the UEFA Europa League.
Lech did not give details of the 24-year-old's deal with the Bundesliga side, for a fee believed to be in the region of €3.5m. While not high in western European terms, the sum is at the upper end of transfers in the Polish league.
Lech bought Rudnev in August 2010 from Hungarian club Zalaegerszegi for €400,000. He had barely spent two seasons in Hungary, after a transfer from Latvia's Daugava, but netted 20 goals.
Over his two seasons at Lech, he has scored 45 goals in 77 matches. He has long been the subject of transfer talk, notably in early 2011 when Italian club Udinese was tipped to sign him. Rudnev burst into the spotlight - and grabbed attention in Italy - thanks to a hat-trick in the Poles' 3-3 Europa League away draw with Juventus in September 2010.
Hailing from Latvia's ethnic-Russian community, Rudnev is sometimes known by his Latvian-style name Artjoms Rudnevs. He has played 16 matches for his country, scoring one goal.