Germany's Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ) reports that VfL Bochum are preparing to augment their second-year Bundesliga roster with a pair of seasoned veteran journeyman who once played for the club.
|Kevin Stöger.||Photo: Jeollo/VfB-exklusiv.de/CC-by-SA 3.0|
It is not yet mathematically impossible for VfL Bochum to avoid being relegated from the Bundesliga in their first season back in the German top flight. With 32 points after 27 matchdays, however, the 1848ers can likely feel fairly confident about their chances of maintaining the class. Head-coach Thomas Reis' team currently sit six points above the relegation fray with seven rounds remaining.
A second-year in the top division brings with it its own special challenges. VfL sporting director Sebastian Schindzierlorz is apparently targeting some grizzled veterans in the hopes of augmenting his roster. In point of fact, the club boss aims to bring two former Bochum players back into the fold.
Twenty-seven-year old SC Freiburg midfielder Janik Haberer spent the 2015/16 campaign on loan with Bochum in the 2. Bundesliga. A successful season during which he scored three goals certainly played a role in him moving to SC Freiburg from parent club Hoffenheim after the season.
After sliding into disuse over the past two seasons in Breisgau, Freiburg management treats Haberer's departure as a given. According to SCF boss Jochen Saier, no real negotiations have taken place with regard to the veteran's expiring contract. Bochum could easily snap Haberer up on a free.
Kevin Stöger, currently of FSV Mainz 05, also sits on an expiring contract. The 28-year-old Austrian played for Bochum for two seasons between 2016 and 2018 in the second division. Stöger has played in the top flight the past four seasons for Mainz and Fortuna Düsseldorf.
His stay in the capital of the Rhineland-Palatinate has not been a particularly successful one. Head-coach Bo Svensson has barely used him this year and, like with Haberer, post-season separation is considered a given.
The report in Germany's Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung does note that Bochum remain interested in retaining the services of midfielder Elvis Rexhbecaj, currently serving on-loan in North Rhine Westphalia from VfL Wolfsburg.
The German Kosovar is due back in Lower Saxony at the end of the season, but Bochum are said to wish to keep the loanee. This would obviously affect any search for players at Rexhbecaj's position.