Schalke eye transfer market after triple injuries

AFP , Sunday 27 Jan 2019

Schalke head coach Domenico Tedesco is hoping the club buy reinforcements before the transfer window closes on Thursday after three players picked up injuries in Friday's 2-2 draw at Hertha Berlin (AFP)

Schalke 04 look set to turn to the transfer market after losing three players to injury over the weekend with next month's Champions League tie against Manchester City looming, reports in Germany said on Sunday.

The point from Friday's 2-2 draw at Hertha Berlin came at a high price with new captain Benjamin Stambouli (broken cheekbone), Alessandro Schoepf (knee ligament tear) and Steven Skrzybski (injured hamstring) all sidelined for weeks.

The transfer window in Germany closes at 1800 (1700 GMT) on Thursday, but according to magazine Kicker, teenage Welsh winger Rabbi Matondo could be signed from the Premier League champions.

Right winger Schoepf is the most serious case "he'll be out for between eight to ten weeks" say the club, while Stambouli is only expected to return at the end of February after an operation.

Skrzybski, who played as a striker in Berlin, could return within a fortnight.

Having sold fans favourite Naldo to Monaco earlier this month, Schalke coach Domenico Tedesco is also looking for another centre-back, especially as Salif Sane had an off-day against Hertha.

"We usually have two centre-backs," Tedesco said, "so I'd be happy if I get one."

Schalke host Pep Guardiola's side in the Champions League last 16 on February 20 in Gelsenkirchen with the return on March 12.

The Royal Blues are up to 12th in the German league, and unbeaten in their last three games, after recovering from a terrible start to the season.

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