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Fire sale at Schalke 04?

Updated: Sep 13, 2020

It‘s too early to say that Schalke 04 is beginning to resemble a 2002 vintage Leeds Utd, but the financial predicament the club finds itself in is having an impact on the squad ahead of the 2020-21 season. The Traditionsverein from the Ruhr has agreed to loan promising 22 year old Weston McKennie to Juventus for the forthcoming season for a fee of 4.5m Euros. The move will be made permanent should certain sporting criteria be achieved, although it is not clear what these are. A fee of 18.5m Euros would then be payable, potentially rising by a further 7m Euros if certain other clauses are triggered.

In the event of the criteria not being achieved, Juventus will still have an option to purchase McKennie for the same price. The American midfielder joined Schalke as a teenager in 2016 and has played 91 times for the club over the last four seasons, including 32 appearances in 2019-20

This is a move that Schalke are clearly having to make to deal with the high level of the club’s indebtedness, bringing in much needed revenue and reducing the wage bill. Head of Sport Jochen Schneider admitted as much, saying “The agreement we have made with Juventus is the most financially beneficial for Schalke and the most attractive sporting move for Weston. Obviously deciding to let go one of our most talented players like Weston is partly down to the financial state the club is in.”

With Schalke having experienced a terrible second half of the season, the last thing coach David Wagner will want is to see his squad weakened by the forced sale of talented players. Whether McKennie is the first of several exists from the Veltins Arena will be seen in due course.

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