Boateng back in Bundesliga, signs with Schalke

AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng joined Schalke on a three-year deal on Friday and the Ghana star admitted he is delighted to be back in the Bundesliga.

Schalke are reported to have paid the Italians €12m and the deal carries an option for a fourth season.

"The Bundesliga is the best in the world and it's where the best players in the world go," said Boateng at a press conference in Gelsenkirchen. "I've always said that I wanted to play again in Germany."

The half-brother of Bayern Munich and Germany defender Jerome Boateng started his career at Hertha Berlin and moved to Tottenham Hotspur for €7.9m in 2007. He returned briefly to Germany for a loan spell with Schalke's bitter rivals Borussia Dortmund before joining Portsmouth and then Milan.

Boateng scored twice in the Italian team's 3-0 victory against PSV Eindhoven in their UEFA Champions League play-off second leg on Wednesday that took them through to the group stage 4-1 on aggregate.

A tough character, Boateng's tackle on Michael Ballack in the 2010 FA Cup final ruled the Germany captain out of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ and he has been brought in to add some middle backbone for the Royal Blues.

"He is an exceptional player with enormous quality and tremendous leadership skills," said Schalke coach Jens Keller.

Alongside Schalke's 19-year-old star Julian Draxler, Boateng could form an impressive midfield partnership and Schalke's general manager Horst Heldt ruled out selling the teenager Draxler before the transfer window closes next week. "It would be schizophrenic to sign one player of quality, but then let another one go. That's not what we want to do," said Heldt.