Naldo joins Schalke on free from Bundesliga rival Wolfsburg

GELSENKIRCHEN: Brazilian defender Naldo is joining Schalke on a free transfer from Bundesliga rival Wolfsburg.

The 33-year-old Naldo is signing a two-year deal through June 2018 with the option to extend, Schalke announced on Sunday.

"Once we heard Naldo was available, we immediately worked on the transfer. It was extremely important to win such an experienced player for a young, talented team full of potential, such as the one we have," the club's new sporting director Christian Heidel said on his first official day.

Heidel, the former Mainz general manager, is in the process of hiring a new coach after telling Andre Breitenreiter on Wednesday that Saturday's league game at Hoffenheim would be his last with the club. Breitenreiter steered the club to fifth in the Bundesliga, missing out on Champions League qualification.

Naldo is supposed to help the side do better next year.

"Christian Heidel impressed me so much in our talks that I am really looking forward to the challenge at Schalke, to celebrate success with a really good team," said Naldo, who played 40 competitive games for Wolfsburg last season.

Naldo played 173 Bundesliga games for Werder Bremen after joining from Juventude Caxias do Sul in 2005.

He helped the side win the German Cup in 2009. He joined Wolfsburg in 2012, scoring 16 goals in 125 league games and winning the German Cup again in 2015.

Naldo has made four appearances for Brazil.