Alexander Schwolow was widely expected to join Schalke 04, but Hertha BSC ultimately won the race for the goalkeeper'signature.
|Alexander Schwolow.||Photo: GEPA Pictures/Roger Petzsche|
For a long while, it looked like it was only a matter of time before Alexander Schwolow would complete a move to Schalke 04 from SC Freiburg. So how did he end up joining Hertha BSC instead?
Hertha were initially looking to bring in Gregor Kobel from Hoffenheim, but when he was snapped up by VfB Stuttgart, they turned their full attention to Schwolow.
At that point, Schwolow looked set to join Schalke, who had been negotiating with Freiburg for weeks without coming to an agreement.
After Schwolow's €8 million release clause expired, Freiburg were demanding just €3.5 million, which Schalke wanted to pay in installments as they were unable to pay the fee in one go, according to Bild.
Hertha, on the other hand, were willing to pay Freiburg's asking price upfront and stepped in to beat Schalke to the signature of the 28-year-old, who was growing increasingly impatient.
"It didn't take me long to decide once discussions became more concrete these last few weeks – I wanted to be part of this project. I've liked Hertha BSC for a while now, so I’m happy the transfer went through. Now I can hardly wait to get going. It feels like the ideal time to make this move," Schwolow told Hertha's website after signing a long-term deal with the club.
Schalke, meanwhile, will now have to decide whether to look for a new goalkeeper elsewhere or put faith in either Ralf Fährmann or Markus Schubert for the 2020/21 season.
"From the beginning, we have stressed that we are keeping our eyes open for players at all positions at this early stage of the transfer window," Schalke head of sport Jochen Schneider told Kicker and added:
"However, it's also a fact, that in Ralf Fährmann and Markus Schubert, we have two goalkeepers under contract, who have the ambition to become our number one. We are therefore under no pressure to act."