Rafal Gikiewicz, Daniel Caligiuri and Tobias Strobl (l-r.) have made the switch to Augsburg on free transfers. - © getty/ DFL
Rafal Gikiewicz, Daniel Caligiuri and Tobias Strobl (l-r.) have made the switch to Augsburg on free transfers. - © getty/ DFL
bundesliga

Augsburg sign Bundesliga trio Rafal Gikiewicz, Daniel Caligiuri and Tobias Strobl on free transfers

Augsburg have completed the triple signing of Union Berlin goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz, Schalke winger Daniel Caligiuri and Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder Tobias Strobl.

All three players are out of contract at the end of June, and make the switch on a free transfer.

Gikiewicz, 32, has signed a two-year contract, while Caligiuri, 32, and Strobl, 30, have penned deals through to 30 June 2023.

"We're happy to have signed three players that possess a lot of quality - strong characters, who were leaders at their clubs," said Augsburg sporting director Stefan Reuter of the trio. "We're in no doubt they have the right mentality to help us both on and off the pitch."

Gikiewicz made the second highest number of saves (115) of any goalkeeper in the Bundesliga in 2019/20, behind Gladbach's Yann Sommer (126). The Polish custodian recorded eight clean sheets as Union successfully negotiated their first season of top-flight football, finishing five points above Augsburg in 11th.

"I had a really great time at Union, but I’m now looking forward to a new – and hopefully successful – chapter in my career," Gikiewicz, who helped Union gain promotion to the Bundesliga in 2018/19, explained. "I think I’ll adapt quickly, as Union and FCA are similar in many ways."

Gikiewicz moved to Germany with Eintracht Braunschweig in 2014, joining Union four years later via a spell at Freiburg. - Alexander Scheuber/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty

Caligiuri set up two goals as Schalke beat Augsburg 3-2 at the WWK Arena on Matchday 10, but was on the receiving end of a 3-0 loss in the reverse fixture.

The right-sided midfielder, who can also play at right-back, has had a direct hand in six goals in 12 appearances against his new employers, but is perhaps best known for his Revierderby heroics against Borussia Dortmund. The former Freiburg and Wolfsburg man - a veteran of 298 Bundesliga appearances - produced a derby-leading four goals and three assists in seven meetings with BVB, famously scoring one of four Schalke goals from 4-0 down and a brace in a 4-2 victory at the Signal Iduna Park last and this season respectively.

"I was convinced by the conversations I had with Heiko Herrlich and Stefan Reuter," Caligiuri told the Augsburg website. "I had the feeling that they wanted me. Playing against FCA has also been difficult, whether it was for Freiburg, Wolfsburg or Schalke. I’m confident that the FCA mentality will suit my way of playing. I’m happy to be part of this club, and I’m sure that Augsburg are still on the up in the Bundesliga."

Watch: Daniel Caligiuri's Revierderby heroics revisited

Strobl didn't take much convincing either. The Munich-born midfielder was restricted to just 10 league appearances in 2019/20, taking his tally to 83 in all competitions across his four seasons as a Gladbach player following his summer 2016 move from Hoffenheim.

"FC Augsburg have developed really well over the past few years," the ex-1860 Munich and Cologne forager said. "I've always followed their progress with real interest. I’m really pleased to now be at FCA ,and I hope I can help play a part in the club’s development."

Strobl (c.) has made 152 Bundesliga appearances to date, producing one goal and 11 assists. - imago/Jan Huebner

As well as the deals for Gikiewicz, Caligiuri and Strobl, Augsburg have also exercised their option to buy defender Felix Uduokhai. The 22-year-old made 26 Bundesliga appearances whilst on loan at the club from Wolfsburg this past season.

Augsburg finished 15th in the final 2019/20 Bundesliga standings, five points clear of the relegation play-off spot.