Bundesliga News

Steffen Baumgart still tops short list of Schalke head-coaching candidates

By Peter Vice

With nine points through 23 rounds, last-place Schalke 04 find themselves in a worse situation than any other Bundesliga club at this point in the season. With hope for top-tier retention all but lost, it remains far from certain if the organization will even appoint a new trainer this season. 

Assistant coach Mike Büskens ran the squad's training session on Monday. German footballing magazine Kicker published a short-list of three candidates on Sunday.

Here's the latest.

Steffen Baumgart.
Steffen Baumgart.

Shortly after Christian Groß was relieved of his post on Sunday morning, Germany's magazine Kicker immediately published insider information linked the Königsblauen to current SC Paderborn head-coach Steffen Baumgart. Given that the possibility of a top tier club snatching Baumgart up has existed for some time, many in German footballing circles treated this rumor as safely legitimate.

Contacted by Germany's Sport1 on Monday, the 49-year-old former Hansa Rostock star did not deny his interest in the position. Baumgart nevertheless told the broadcaster that "there has been no contact yet" whilst leaving the possibility of future talks open.

The second name mentioned was Dimitrios Grammozis, who's only direct managerial experience came as SV Darmstadt 98's interim trainer toward the end of the 2019/20 campaign. The Bundesliga veteran coached the VfL Bochum youth squad for a time after retiring from football in 2013. According to Kicker, he's been the subject of internal talks at the club for some time.

A third name surfacing is that of current MTK Budapest Michael Boris. The 45-year-old, who hails from Nordrhein-westfalen, coached the Schalke reserves during the 2010/11 campaign. Since then, he's built a reliable reputation for himself as trainer in the Hungarian FA's youth system and recently led Budapest to promotion. Kicker reports that Boris remains attractive as he has a release clause in his contract that would make him available immediately.

Baumgart remains the favorite, particularly seeing as his current contract with the Ostwestfalen side expires at the end of this season. SCP managing director Fabian Wohlgemuth recently told SkyGermany that club and coach wish to reach a decision about their mutual future by the end of the current month.

"We want to reach a decision by the end of March, that is our 'plan A'," the manager told the broadcaster.

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