However, the man he was intended to replace, Anthony Modeste, will be staying put for the time being as his move to Chinese side Tianjin Quanjian fell through.
That opens up the possibility of the two combining up for the Billy Goats next season, although their fans will still be wary of another suitor appearing for Modeste.
Köln hopeful of Modeste stay after talks end
Modeste, who scored 25 goals for Köln as they finished fifth in the Bundesliga last season, had looked set to become the latest player to leave Europe for the Chinese Super League, with Tianjin set to pay the club around €35 million for his services.
Köln’s sporting director Jörg Schmadtke had confirmed on Friday that a deal was close, whilst the Frenchman had also left for China, against his present club’s wishes, to complete formalities.
However, on Wednesday afternoon, they released a short statement saying they had “terminated discussions” over the transfer as “the parties involved were not able to reach an agreement.”
It has been reported by German newspaper Bild that talks fell through as Köln rejected Tianjin’s attempts to pay the fee in instalments, whilst Modeste’s agents were demanding €6 million from Köln for the part they played in the deal.
Whilst the club have reiterated that Modeste has a contract with them until 2021, and expect him to report to the start of training next Monday, fans will be holding the breath over the next couple of months to see if he does indeed stick around. Meanwhile, there were reports earlier on Wednesday that Tianjin had turned their attentions to Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Former Mainz man to become record Köln signing
Whilst it looks like Modeste could stay, Köln have nevertheless completed the deal to bring in his would-be successor in Córdoba, who arrives after two years further up the Rhine with Mainz. He has signed a four-year deal, whilst the reported fee of €16 million would be a club record if correct.
He initially joined die Nullfünfer on loan from Granada CF, a deal that was made permanent last summer, and he scored 10 goals in 51 Bundesliga appearances, whilst helping to set up another seven. The Colombian also scored one goal in Mainz’s six UEFA Europa League games last season, and he will get the chance to improve on that with Köln next season.
Discussing their new second signing of the summer, following the arrival of Jannes Horn, Schmadte highlighted Cordóba’s “speed, physicality, and a direct line to goal” as his strengthens, and he said they also see him as a player with “a lot of experience” but still with “plenty of potential.”
Cordóba described the move as “the right step for me,” and that he “wanted to take the opportunity to play for one of Germany’s great traditional clubs.” He also said that he had been “able to experience the wonderful atmosphere” at the ground following Köln’s final day home win against Mainz, which secured European football for the first time in a quarter of a century, and that he was now “looking forward” to playing for them.
Quotes via 1. FC Köln.