By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Reports: Union Berlin seek to sign Schalke's Kral

Sky Germany and Sport Bild report that 1. FC Union Berlin are actively pursuing FC Schalke 04 midfielder Alex Kral. 
Czech midfielder Alex Kral was allowed to join FC Schalke 04 last summer due to a special FIFA footballing regulation that enabled the 35-times-capped international to suspend his contract with a Russian club, in this case Spartak Moscow. The 24-year-old's contract with the Königsblauen was only good for one year.

FIFA have not yet extended the regulation, but it is expected that the International footballing body will do so. If this proves the case, Kral should be able to nullify his contract with Spartak if he so desires. The regular Schalke starter can thus test the waters this summer as a free agent. Two German sources, Sky Germany and the "Sport Bild" tabloid newspaper, report that Kral has been actively courted by 1. FC Union Berlin.

The €5.5 million-valued midfielder would constitute quite the coup for Oliver Ruhnert and the FCU administrative team, particularly if he could be procured on a free. Sport Bild claims that Schalke are attempting to re-sign the Czech talent and have even explored the possibility of a hefty salary increase.

The fact that Schalke might be playing in the second division next year and Union could still qualify for the Champions' league would nevertheless likely leave the Westphalian side unable to compete. After overcoming some early season back problems, Kral has started 12 consecutive league fixtures for Thomas Reis' S04. He's made a total of 25 appearances (22 starts) for Schalke this season.

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