Lewis Holtby and Jan Kirchhoff to leave their clubs at the end of the season

Today it was announced that Lewis Holtby will not extend his contract at Schalke and leave the club at the end of the season. Elsewhere, Jan Kirchhoff has reached a similar decision and chose to move on from Mainz in the coming summer.  A lot of speculation has surrounded the potential move of both of these players and their availability at the end of the season on a free transfer will surely generate a lot of interest around Europe.

Holtby exit for “personal reasons”

The 22 year old midfielder will see out the remainder of his contract  and cited personal reasons for his decision.  Holtby joined Schalke in 2009 followed by two loan spells at VfL Bochum and Mainz before establishing himself as a starter at the club.

Holtby has been one of Schalke’s standout players this season and has done a formidable job filling the big shoes Raul left when leaving this past summer. Chairman Horst Heldt echoed the regretful tone of many Schalke supporters:

We were hoping that Lewis would see a future at FC Schalke, but he’s made a decision for personal reasons that we respect. We have no doubt that he’ll give everything up until the final game of the season and fulfil his duties for the success of the team.

Holtby’s English background will no doubt generate a lot of interest from abroad and particularly the English Premier League with clubs like Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspurs already reported to show interest.

Kirchhoff confirms the inevitable

Many were predicting that 22 year old defender Jan Kirchhoff would choose not to extend his contract at Mainz but yesterday club manager Christian Heidel heard it straight from the player’s agent.

Several clubs have been rumored to be interested in the 22 year old including Borussia Mönchengladbach, Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke but Heidel did reassure Mainz supporters that a sale in January is out of the question and that the player will see out his remaining days at the club.

Kirchhoff has been with Mainz’s first team since 2008 after being promoted from the reserves and played 51 Bundesliga matches under Thomas Tuchel.  The U-21 Germany international is equally adept at center back as he is in holding midfield and is considered one of the best up and coming young talents in the country.

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Cristian Nyari

Cristian is a football writer and analyst living in New York City, fascinated with the history and study of the beautiful game and all it entails. Follow Cristian on twitter @Cnyari

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