Lehmann inks Stuttgart deal

German international goalkeeper Jens Lehmann, whose contract with English Premier League side Arsenal expires at the end of the month, will return to the Bundesliga next season after signing a one-year deal with VfB Stuttgart, the German club announced Tuesday.

Lehmann, 38, who played 329 Bundesliga matches between 1998 and 2003, had also been targetted by Wolfsburg and Borussia Dortmund, but rejected both offers.

He will join Stuttgart after the UEFA EURO 2008 finals which take place in Austria and Switzerland from 7-29 June in place of Raphael Schafer, who has failed to impress since his arrival from Nuremberg last July.

Lehmann, who has 54 caps, has been the national goalkeeper since the 2006 FIFA World Cup on home soil, but having lost his place at Arsenal last season debate has raged for months as to whether he should remain as Germany's number one shot-stopper.

Before joining Arsenal in 2003, Lehmann played for Schalke 04 (1988-98), AC Milan (1998-99) and Borussia Dortmund (1999-2003).