Is the tenth day of January too late to launch a transfer ticker for the winter window? Probably!
Will said tardiness stop us from doing it? Probably not!
We here at the Fanatic will try to keep this updated as a central resource for all the shenanigans of “silly season” so that . . . A) We don’t have to write several dozen small stories to keep everyone informed and B) we therefore do NOT cover transfer action at all due to inability to keep pace with it all, and C) I already forgot what “C” was going to be.
Feel free to keep the conversation going by commenting below (way, way at the bottom . . . it’s there, trust me!)
15 January – 11:12 PST
Bayern Munich have announced the signing of two Hoffenheim players for next summer, bringing in German internationals Sebastian Rudy, 26, and defender Niklas Sule, 21. Both players have been key to Hoffenheim’s undefeated run in the Hinrunde under Coach Julian Nagelsmann. Rudy, Hoffenheim’s captain, signed a three year contract with the Bavarians on a free transfer while Sule inked a five year deal for a reported transfer fee of £17.5million, according to Bild, beating out Chelsea for the 6’5″ defender’s signature.
Rudy, 5’10” came up with VfB Stuttgart and played 15 league games with the Swabians before joining Hoffenheim for the 2010/2011 season. The midfielder and occasional right back featured in 178 matches for the village team, although he has never seen European competition due to Hoffe’s poor showings over the years. After playing in nearly 40 matches for German national youth squads, Rudy debuted with Germany’s senior squad against Poland in May, 2014 and has earned 12 senior caps.
Süle, born in Frankfurt, has been with Hoffenheim since 2010, already has 95 senior squad matches under his belt. He was a silver medalist last summer with Germany’s Olympic team and earned his first Germany senior squad last August against Finland.
Bayern executive board chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge stated
We’re very pleased that Niklas Süle and Sebastian Rudy are moving to Bayern. Signing two Germany internationals is an investment in the club’s future. Sebastian Rudy comes on a free, while we have come to a serious and fair agreement with Hoffenheim for Niklas Süle
15 January – 11:00 PST
Midfielder Sidney Sam has gone on loan for the duration of the season to SV Darmstadt 98 from Schalke. The 28 year-old native of Kiel will try to recapture his game with the Lillies and provide some offensive spark for the Hessen club who are in the cellar of the Bundesliga table after gaining only two wins and two draws from 16 league contests.
Sam joined the Royal Blues from Bayer Leverkusen, where he enjoyed success, scoring 36 goals in 124 matches in all competitions for Die Werkself over four seasons. Beginning his career with Hamburger SV, Sam enjoyed two successful seasons with 1.FC Kaiserslautern before signing with Leverkusen for the 2010/2011 campaign.
Sam, though, has become an afterthought at Schalke since becoming a Royal Blue in 2014. He hadn’t even made the bench for any league matches during the Hinrunde, instead playing in nine matches for the Schalke reserves. Sam has appeared in only 22 matches for Schalke’s in three seasons and has never scored a goal for the Gelsenkirchen side.
With Darmstadt’s offense reeling, scoring only 11 goals since the departure of Sandro Wagner in the summer, this loan provides a chance for Sam to show that he still is a legitimate first division player. He is the only player brought in by the Lillies thus far in the winter transfer window.
12 January – 12:56 PST
RB Leipzig has apparently run out of RB teams to which they can lend Omer Damari, so they’re sending the Israeli attacker back to his homeland on loan to Maccabi Haifa FC.
Damari was purchased from FK Austria Wien two years ago. After eleven appearances in Leipzig in the 2015-16 Hinrunde, he was farmed out to completely independent and not at all subsidiary clubs RB Salzburg and New York Red Bulls on separate loan deals.
No reports from Haifa about Red Bull executives making purchases of club shares, though also no reports that such subterfuge is not happening, so . . .
12 January – 12:38 PST
Sidebar: I switched to PST because I wanted to stop doing math. Try to stop me.
Ömer Toprak will still be at Bayer Leverkusen for the second half of this season, but he appears to be signalling that he will not play the final year of his contract with his current club.
Following Bayer’s 1:0 test win over Atletico Minerao Wednesday night in Orlando, Florida, the central defender sounded as if a deal had already been secured.
“I am trying, like every year, to give my best. I was here very, very long, and my concentration lie really only on training camp, that we play a very good Rückrunde, that we play our football, that we have fun together, and that we have success,” said Toprak. “I would like to have a good, successful conclusion.”
Borussia Dortmund had attempted to acquire Toprak over the summer, but the two clubs could not come to terms on a transfer. The 27-year-old’s contract reportedly has a transfer clause that will become active this summer, which apparently makes Toprak fairly confident that he will be on the move before the 2017-18 season begins.
12 January – 1:58 CET
Jonathan Tah not interested in leaving Bayer Leverkusen.
I didn’t spend too long researching the origin of “Jürgen Klopp wants Tah,” so it’s at least possible I’m missing some very legitimate source somewhere. I can say, however, that almost every story I read about the matter uses the phony-ass “it is said that” in the set-up to discussing the possibility of Liverpool FC making a deal to sign the Bayer Leverkusen central defender away this winter.
To be clear, if I asked my six-year-old son, “Will you say ‘Klopp is interested in Tah’?” and he then says it, then is IS said, isn’t it?
Anyhow, someone somewhere asked their first-grader to say it, apparently, and there has been a flurry of reports on the notion that Tah might make a January move.
Naturally, someone eventually had to ask Tah himself about the rumors.
“I am ‘brutally’ contented at Bayer Leverkusen. I don’t want to leave,” was how the recent Germany call-up responded to BILD’s inquiry on the matter. ”
Of course no amount of denials on the player’s part, the lack of confirmation of interest on the club’s behalf, nor any other reality of the situation will ever stop the nature of transfer chatter. In fact, some will likely see Tah’s statement as clear proof he wants out.
Taking it at face value, however, whatever validity there may be behind the Liverpool/Klopp interest is not reciprocated by Jonathan Tah.
At least not yet.
11 January – 1:42 CET
German national-team workhorse and 1. FC Köln utility defender Jonas Hector reportedly has caught the eye of Chelsea boss Antonio Conte. The Times said on Tuesday that Conte is looking for an answer to mounting questions about the fitness and ability of Marcos Alonso, particularly in the wake of the current table leader’s decisive 2:0 end to an extended winning streak at the feet of Tottenham Hotspur last week.
Hector had been rumored to be in the sights of Chelsea and Liverpool over the summer, though no official offer was ever reported.
Köln leadership was typically deadpan in their lack of concern over losing a player they consider vital enough to the club’s future plans to have extended him into 2021 over the summer.
“I’m not having any sleepless nights,” said trainer Peter Stöger.
Sporting director Jörg Schmadtke was a bit more colorful in his own response.
“And we want Kurt Zouma from Chelsea, a class central defender,” said Schmadte who has maintained that he has received no official offer for the player. “Unfortunately, we likewise will not get him.”
10 January – 19:51 CET
Holger Badstuber will join FC Schalke 04 from FC Bayern München for the remainder of the 2016-17
season on a six-month loan.
The obvious question will be how much playing time Badstuber will log for Markus Weinzierl’s squad. Due to a variety of injuries, the former national-team player has managed just 18 Bundesliga appearances since playing 33 in the 2011-12 season.
Karl-Heinz Rumenigge says that Badstuber is at full health right now and therefore “asked us to allow him to transfer to Schake.”
“I am grateful that FC Bayern was able to fulfill my wish,” said Badstuber, who had been training with FC Bayern at trainig camp in Doha, Qatar. “I would like to get working at Schalke on the match-practice that I need and look forward to my time in Gelsenkirchen.”
Schalke sporting director Chistian Heidel called Badstuber “one of the best central defenders I know” and said the player is “‘topfit’ and can train fully.”