Schalke 04: construction site with an astonishing sense of reality – sport

The journalist of the Ruhr news had watched very carefully: when Amine Harit recently fell to the ground in a friendly match against Shakhtar Donetsk and was lying there with a pained expression, the correspondent saw with undoubtedly sharp eyes how “the hair on the back of the neck was held on to end “at Rouven Schröder and Dimitrios Grammozis. Schalke’s sporting director and head coach were allowed to calm down quickly. Harit rose to his full height and continued to play.

The fact that the 24-year-old Frenchman is still playing for Schalke 04 should have come as a surprise to some of the 500 spectators in attendance for the match at training camp in Mittersill, Austria. On the final day of the Bundesliga season, Harit left the Cologne pitch in insatiable tears, but it was certainly not so much the long-term relegation that he mourned, and certainly not the 1-0 loss to the 1. FC Köln. Rather, he was overwhelmed by the realization of the maximum four turbulent years in royal blue, which are now over. That he accompanies the club in the second division seemed out of the question for everyone involved.

But now he’s back on the training ground. When Schalke was still marching to the Champions League under coach David Wagner, Harit had extended his contract until 2024 – on terms that were already considered at least marginal internally at the time. Until a buyer can be found who agrees to these terms and also pays the transfer fee, the quick technician belongs to the professional team like an expensive relic from better days, sometimes forcing those in charge to make decisions. of conscience. His engagement against Donetsk should be a reward for his zeal in training, an injury was of course particularly unwelcome – so likely no club would pay the long-awaited € 15million for Harit. The spiky hair on the back of Sporting Director Schröder’s neck expressed this concern.

Sporting director Schröder wields numbers like Shanghai port captain

Schröder, 45, previously active in Bremen and Mainz, returning to the West at the end of May, is the juggler of German football managers: while he manages Schalke’s past in the first division, he is also building the future of the club in the second division, by manipulating the numbers. as the captain of the port of Shanghai. The amount of transfer moves should impress even grand shunting master Felix Magath.

Twenty professionals have already left the club, nine have come and Schröder is working on a new data status every day. While the club announced on Monday the (temporary) takeover of talented 18-year-old Russian midfielder Yaroslaw Mikhailow, the next day it was a farewell to second goalkeeper Markus Schubert, who is allowed to move for free to Vitesse Arnheim. despite the current contract. Like so many others, Schalke would have liked to keep him. But Schubert’s salary, generously measured in 2019 when he came for free from Dresden as U-21 national goalkeeper, opposed it.

Construction will likely continue until the transfer window closes on August 31, and the client is unable to say if Schalke 04 will then have a squad playing for the promotion. “This cannot be reliably predicted,” Schröder explains. Besides relegated Werder Bremen and already notorious promotion favorite Hamburger SV, he can think of half a dozen other clubs that could be considered for places one to three: Heidenheim, Kiel, St. Pauli, Düsseldorf, Nuremberg , Hanover. Moreover, Schröder knows that the typical league X factor always promotes candidates like Sandhausen or Paderborn in the front group who had no idea they could be candidates: “In the second division there is no midfield, only a battle of promotion and relegation. , that’s why there will be – like every year – one or two surprises. “

The club engages in this treacherous biotope with an astonishing sense of reality for its standards. Connoisseurs particularly praise the royal transfer of the royal blues: his name would not be Simon Terodde (an almost obligatory purchase, as Stuttgart, Cologne and Hamburg have shown), but Victor Pálsson. The 30-year-old Icelandic hails from Darmstadt and is considered a prime example of a solid Second Division professional. The Austrian Reinhold Ranftl, 28, is also popular.

This is what it looks like, the new Schalke. Sporting director Peter Knäbel, who took over the company from Jochen Schneider in the spring, has now announced Sports photo of a radical change: the status of contracts in the professional department showed him “what world Schalke lived in – today I feel infinitely distant from this world”. Today, a senior board member said recently, new players receive monthly salaries that are no greater than the point bonuses of players of the previous generation. This is one of the reasons why qualified Premier League pros like Matija Nastasic and Omar Mascarell as well as Harit are still on the sales list.

Who apparently wants to stay forever: the fans. Only 2% of subscribers canceled their subscriptions during the epic crisis. The waiting list for successors is closed. Too much rush.

Winston Ferguson

"Total travelaholic. Subtly charming zombie geek. Friend of animals everywhere. Music buff. Explorer. Tv junkie."

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