By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Köln updates: Hübers commits to Effzeh, Waldschmidt purchase talks stall

Recently relegated 2. Bundesliga side 1. FC Köln announced on Sunday that defender Timo Hübers would be the the fourth squad player to commit to the club despite having the ability to leave via a contractual exit clause. 

Regarding Köln's hope of retaining one of its three loan players, however, Germany's main sporting tabloid and the local Kölner Express newspaper have less than great news to report. 

There's both good news and bad news to report when it comes to relegated 1. FC Köln's struggle to build a roster ahead of next season. After Mark Uth signaled his commitment to his hometown club by signing a new contract valid for the second division, German youth internationals Eric Martel and Jan Thielmann also gave Köln a boost by announcing that they would remain with the Effzeh in the 2. Bundesliga next year. Defender Timo Hübers became the fourth professional to announce that he would stay on Sunday. 

Hübers started 31 of Köln's 34 league fixtures last season. The 27-year-old could have departed for greener pastures via a €3 million exit clause in his contract, but noted that he wished to help a "club and city that has grown on me" return to the top flight next year. With an estimated market worth of €5.5 million, Hüber's is the second valuable players on the Geißböcke roster. Only young left back Max Finkgräfe is rated higher (€6 million) in the transfermarkt listings. 

Köln still have much work to do as an ironclad transfer ban imposed by the CAS prevents them from signing new players this summer. Christian Keller and the club administrative team can still sign three players on-loan players - Luca Waldschmidt, Faride Alidou, and Rasmus Carstensen - to permanent deals, however, as the transfer ban does not apply to footballers already registered with the club. The front office has until the end of the current month to negotiate purchases. 

Germany's preeminent footballing publication reports that Köln have little interest in pulling what has been reported to be an expensive and complex purchase option on Alidou. Kicker reports that negotiations over Carstensen are proceeding well. Köln have, according to the magazine, decided not to extend with right-back Benno Schmitz. The Dane is seen as the future starter at the position. Kicker has nothing to report on Waldschmidt, but Germany's main sporting tabloid anthem the local "Kölner Express" newspaper do. 

The two sources claim that Waldschmidt's parent club VfL Wolfsburg and Köln have been unable to come to an agreement. The tabloid cites the player's uncertainty following the prolonged search for a new head-coach following Timo Schultz's dismissal while the local paper reports that Waldschmidt's salary demands are not within his loan-club's budget. It does appear to be the case that Waldschmidt plays little to no role in VfL trainer Ralph Hasenhüttl's plans, meaning that a deal could still be struck. 
 

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