Mainz - 1. FSV Mainz 05 have finalised the signing of Swiss international midfielder Fabian Frei from FC Basel.

The 26-year-old has joined the club on a four-year contract as a replacement for Johannes Geis, whose transfer to FC Schalke 04 was confirmed earlier on Tuesday.

Heidel: 'He fits in perfectly'

“We earmarked Fabian Frei early on as the central midfielder we wanted in the event of changes to personnel, and we’re delighted that we’ve been able to sign him,” said sporting director Christian Heidel. “We’re getting a talented player, both defensively and going forward, with great game awareness and plenty of experience. We’re convinced he'll fit into our team perfectly.”

Coach Martin Schmidt was similarly enthused by the seven-time Swiss international’s arrival: “Fabian’s technical and tactical abilities will not only improve our game but also that of the players around him.”

'The Bundesliga is like the Champions League'

The player himself expressed delight that the transfer had gone through so smoothly and is now eager to gain a first taste of action in Germany’s top flight. “I’m really looking forward to playing in the Bundesliga. To me it feels like playing in a Champions League game every weekend.”

Frei joined Basel in 2004 and enjoyed two spells in the club’s first team, either side of two seasons on loan at FC St Gallen between 2007 and 2009. In total he scored 29 goals and provided 42 assists in 235 Swiss top-flight appearances, as well as winning five league titles and two Swiss cups. He has also played 23 times in the UEFA Champions League and 24 in the UEFA Europa League.