Hamburg sign Olympic champion Walace from Gremio

BERLIN -- Hamburger SV signed defensive midfielder Walace from Brazilian side Gremio late on Monday to boost their chances of avoiding their first relegation from the Bundesliga.

The 21-year-old Walace, whose full name is Walace Souza Silva, signed a 4 1/2-year deal through June 2021 and will take part in his first training session with his new teammates on Tuesday, Hamburg announced.

"Walace is physically robust and strong in challenges. We're delighted that he's playing for Hamburg straight away," club sporting director Jens Todt said.

Hamburg, the only remaining founding member of the Bundesliga never relegated, were second from bottom and three points from safety after the start of the second half of the season.

"I hope I can help the club in the current difficult situation," said Walace, who will wear the No. 12 jersey in Hamburg.

An Olympic gold medal winner with Brazil, Walace broke into Gremio's first team shortly before his 19th birthday after playing for the club's under-19s.

He won the Brazilian Cup with Gremio in December and has made two appearances for Brazil.