By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Schalke updates: Loan deals for Tauer and Skarke near finish line

Sky Germany reports that FC Schalke 04 are close to securing two reinforcements - one in defense and one in attack - on loan ahead of the start of the squad's training camp on January 2nd. 
Confirming reports appearing in both Germany's preeminent footballing publication and its main sporting tabloid, Sky Germany claims that FC Schalke 04 and FSV Mainz 05 are close to finalizing a loan deal that will send defensive midfielder Niklas Tauer to Gelsenkirchen for the duration of the season. The 21-year-old is slated as the six-slot at Schalke.

Tauer made 16 Bundesliga appearances under FSV trainer Bo Svensson's coaching regime prior to this season, during which he has played significantly less of a role. Svensson twice brought him on at the half during league play. He made no starts and hasn't been used in any meaningful way since matchday 6.

Sky reports that negotiations on Tauer's loan-deal are actually quite far along. The broadcaster also notes that there has been a great deal of progress on a separate loan-deal with 1. FC Union Berlin. As has been rumored for some time, attacker Tim Skarke will also join the Königsblauen for the second-half of the campaign.

Union trainer Urs Fischer has found no use for the right flanker apart from six relief appearances thus far this season. Skarke could also be envisioned as an immediate starter on the right-side of the S04 attack; or at the very least a further means of exerting pressure on the under-performing Jordan Larsson. 

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