Stick or Twist? A Bundesliga XI of Players on Expiring Contracts

Currently there are 116 players in the Bundesliga who are on expiring contracts. Going into a season with a player who might leave for free after the season is over is tricky. If a club wants to be certain of a pay day, all of the players below need to be sold.

Goalkeeper – Alexander Nübel (Schalke 04)

The 21-year-old is a player for the future. The Royal Blues believe in Nübel’s skills so much so that they decided to send Ralf Fährmann, former captain of the team, away on a loan to Norwich City. However, the only problem for the club is the fact that this amazing talent doesn’t have a contract lasting longer than 2020. Bayern Munich is rumored to be among the interested parties.

Nübel’s agent Stefan Backs has told the press that the keeper is going to stay at the club for at least one more year.

Right back – Theodor Gebre Selassie (Werder Bremen)

209 matches and 18 goals from 8 seasons, and a beacon of stability on Werder’s right side of the defense. The 31-year-old arrived after the EUROs of 2012 and has been one of the best purchases made during the last few years of Klaus Allofs’ and Thomas Schaaf’s reign at the Weserstadion. A contract extension seems likely at the moment.

Centre back – Robin Knoche (VfL Wolfsburg)

The former German international was one of the mainstays in Bruno Labbadia’s side during Wolfsburg’s successful season last year. However, a new coach has arrived and it remains to be seen if Knoche is going to extend his contract. If he and Oliver Glasner don’t strike up a good working relationship, the 27-year-old might decided to leave.

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Centre back – Tobias Strobl (Borussia Mönchengladbach)

Reliable and pretty much a decent player in all positions at the back and in defensive midfield. The 29-year-old would be a good get for most Bundesliga sides and might consider making a move given the fact that his next contract might be his last big deal.

Left back – Niko Giesselmann (Fortuna Düsseldorf)

The 27-year-old can play all positions on the left wing. He had a great first season in the Bundesliga with Fortuna Düsseldorf, but it remains to be seen if Fortuna can keep up their form of last season. If they can’t, Giesselmann might be gone.

Holding midfield – Charles Aranguiz (Bayer Leverkusen)

The Chilean has been a great addition to Bayer Leverkusen after he started to get going in 2016 (he spent most of his first year injured). However, there are reports of him feeling homesick. A return to Latin America might be on the cards, either this year or on a free transfer next season.

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Holding midfield – Stefan Ilsanker (RB Leipzig)

The Austrian is one of those carefully selected parts that fit into Ralf Rangnick’s puzzle. However, Ilsanker hasn’t been a regular most of the time ever since RB Leipzig got promoted to the Bundesliga. Whether Julian Nagelsmann finds away of integrating him into his side, is probably going to decide if the 30-year-old will stay or leave.

Right wing – Daniel Caligiuri (Schalke 04)

The 31-year-old has played in the Bundesliga for nine years now and has been a reliable player for Freiburg, Wolfsburg and Schalke. Before this summer there was some interest from Italy for the right back. Schalke have said that they are planning on keeping Caligiuri around for the next season, but it is open whether they are going to keep him for much longer.

Left wing – Steven Zuber (Hoffenheim)

The Swiss international has just returned from a somewhat dire loan stay at VfB Stuttgart. It is unclear if Alfred Schreuder’s arrival at the club means that Zuber is going to get more playing time. If not, he can leave for free at the end of the season.

Attacking midfield – Mario Götze (Borussia Dortmund)

No contract extension talks have been held so far. Götze is currently earning as much as Marco Reus and Mats Hummels. The club, however, would like to downgrade his pay. Whether the former German international is going to accept a pay cut,  remains to be seen. If not, there are two options at hand for BVB: Either meet Götze’s demands or letting him go on a free transfer.

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Striker – Alfred Finnbogason (FC Augsburg)

33 goals from 71 matches at Augsburg is a spectacular strike rate for a striker. Most strikers playing for bigger and better teams struggle to match this sort of output. Can a ‘small’  side like FCA can keep such a big talent?

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Niklas Wildhagen

Niklas is a 33-year-old football writer and podcaster who has been following the Bundesliga and German football since the early 90s. You can follow him on Twitter, @normusings, and listen to his opinions on @TalkingFussball.

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