As the inevitable relegation nears, more news begins to leak out about which Schalke 04 players have contracts valid for the second tier.
|Benjamin Stambouli.||Photo: Sandro Halank, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0|
According to Germany's Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, Schalke's Bastian Oczipka and Benjamin Stambouli do not have contracts valid for the 2. Bundesliga. In cases of relegation, it is not unheard of for players with such issues to have their contracts restructured for use in the lower divisions. In this particular instance, however, it would count as quite the surprise to see the cash-strapped club chase after an estimated combined salary obligation of € 5 million.
The WAZ report does not divulge the names of other players who have similar contractual stipulations, but it can safely be assumed that more names will come to light in the coming weeks. The article does reveal that Mark Uth, Amine Harit, and Suat Serdar do have contracts that will allow them to play in Bundesliga Two. It nevertheless remains likely that the Königsblauen will wish to cash in on this valuable trio rather than keep them on the payroll.
The Westphalians are already set to lose Alessandro Schöpf, Steven Skrzybski, and Nabil Bentaleb on expiring contracts. Kilian Ludewig, Frederick Rønnow, Sead Kolasinac, William Furtado and Gonçalo Paciencia are all due back from loans. Shkodran Mustafi's dust up with the coaching staff renders him an almost certain departure on an expiring deal.