Andre Breitenreiter was appointed manager of Schalke last month and replaced Roberto di Matteo, who resigned at the end of the Bundesliga season.
Schalke finished in 6th position and qualified for the Europa League, but the club fell short of a slot in the Champions League – which was the target and they had to finish in the top four to achieve that.
Joel Matip – will he leave Schalke this summer?
Now the news is that one of Newcastle’s many transfer targets, Joel Matip, will meet with the new boss and they will discuss the current situation, with Matip refusing to sign a new deal with the German club.
The 23 year-old center-back has been linked with Newcastle and would probably cost around the £10M mark, although it’s not clear of Newcastle have yet lodged a formal bid for the 26 times capped Cameroon International.
It will be interesting to see if Breitenreiter will allow the top rated defender to leave the club this summer, and it may put a spanner in the works if the new coach wants to keep the player for next season.
Joel Matip only returned to training yesterday, and Breitenreiter is quoted in the German press today as saying the following:
“I’ve already had a few short discussions with the players.” “The most important thing is that we all get to know each other first.”
“After that, we can look ahead to how we want to play out on the field and how individual players work, in order to understand each other better in the long term.”
“We have to all get to know each other first.” “Then we’ll have a look at which areas we might need to improve in.”
Matip has been at Schalke since 2000, when he signed on for them as a 9 year-old, and he has only one year to run on his contract, with no signs that he wants to sign an extension.
So this summer would seem to be a good time for the Bundesliga club to cash in on him before he becomes a free agent, although they would still be due some compensation next summer.
Matip made his first team debut for Schalke back in November of 2009 as an 18 year-old against Bayern Munich, and since then he’s appeared 211 times for the club with 18 goals.
He was in the Cameroon squad for both the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa as a 19 year-old, and in last year’s World Cup in Brazil.
The 6ft 4ins center-back who can also play in defensive midfield, would be a tremendous acquisition for Newcastle.