Bayern welcome back striker Wagner

German international leaves Hoffenheim to return to Allianz Arena

Bayern Munich have welcomed striker Sandro Wagner back to the Allianz Arena, nine years after he left the Bavarian giants.

Yesterday, the Bundesliga leaders announced that the 30-year-old will join them from rivals Hoffenheim on a 2½-year deal, effective from Jan 1.

Wagner progressed through the Bayern youth system and made his senior debut in 2007, featuring in eight games that season before leaving the Allianz Arena in 2008.

He played for several German sides joining Hoffenheim last year.

"I'm delighted. A long journey for me is now at an end and I can return to my home, my club. I'm very happy that it's come off. Bayern are the best club in Germany and one of the best in the world," Wagner told the club's website.

The 1.94m-tall target man has seven caps for Germany and was part of the side that won the Confederations Cup earlier this year.

Wagner has previously played for German top-flight sides Werder Bremen, Hertha BSC along with second-tier MSV Duisburg, Kaiserslautern and SV Darmstadt 98.

"In Sandro Wagner, we have another Germany international coming to Bayern. We're convinced that Sandro will enhance our squad with his class and his experience," Bayern's sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said.

Bayern have opened an 11-point lead atop the Bundesliga table and will travel to Bayer Leverkusen on Jan 12, when the Bundesliga resumes after the winter break.

Yesterday morning (Singapore time), Bayern progressed to the German Cup quarter-finals after a 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund.

Goals from Jerome Boateng and Thomas Mueller gave Bayern a comfortable lead before half-time, but Andriy Yarmolenko's second-half header made it a nervy last 15 minutes for Bayern.

"We've stumbled into the quarter-finals," said Bayern defender Boateng. "We played well in the first half, but we should have decided it earlier."

Elsewhere, Leon Bailey netted the winner as Bayer Leverkusen beat Borussia Moenchengladbach 1-0 to book their place in the last eight. - WIRE SERVICES