German footballing magazine Kicker reports that incoming 1. FC Köln head-coach Steffen Baumgart wishes to retain the services of Germany U21 starter Salih Özcan.
|Salih Özcan.||Photo: Sandro Halank, Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA 4.0|
With so much interest being generated across Europe, it seemed a forgone conclusion that 1. FC Köln and 23-year-old Salih Özcan would part company at the end of the month. Stephan von Nocks of German footballing magazine Kicker nevertheless reports that incoming trainer Steffen Baumgart wants to keep the player in place at his native cathedral city.
Interim Geißböcke sporting director Jörg Jakobs confirmed this when contacted by von Nocks.
"After some consultations with the coach, we can envision a solid role for Salih in the team," Jakobs said, "We're exchanging views on whether or not there can be a mutual future together."
The Effzeh most certainly face an uphill battle should they wish to keep the midfielder after all. Özcan remains disappointed that he did not feature regularly in the team last season and his contract expires in a short 14 days.
Regarding the other two players considered certain to depart the Domstadt this summer, there have been few concrete developments. The rumor mill has gone cold on the topic center back Sebastiaan Bornauw's potential purchase by Wolfsburg.
Defensive midfielder Ellyes Skhiri, for whom Köln still expect a €20 million haul, continues to be linked with several clubs. After an €8 million offer from Lyon was rejected, the Kölner Express reports that the Ligue 1 club is preparing another bid.