If ever there were a Bundesliga professional caught between a rock and hard place- Sebastian Rudy would serve as an excellent example. The Schalke midfielder, who spent last season on loan at Hoffenheim is not wanted by the Königsblauen due to finances, while TSG, who do want him cannot afford him due to finances.
Due to their current precarious financial predicament, Schalke are very keen on removing Rudy from their payroll with his €6 million per year salary a burden they could do without. The 30-year-old never really settled at the Veltins Arena following his €16 million move from Bayern Munich in 2018. He made just 17 starts (plus four as a substitute) scoring none and providing no assists.
A move back to his former club Hoffenheim last season saw him returning to being a key player making 31 starts last season, scoring once and laying on three assists. Back on familiar soil, with the backing of the club, he has returned to the kind of form that saw him break into the Nationalmannschaft.
The player himself has intimated he is keen on playing his way into Germany’s squad for the European Championship finals. In an interview with Sport Bild, Rudy revealed that Germany coach Joachim Löw phoned to check on him during the corona virus break.
“The national team coach contacted be during the corona break and asked how I was doing. I was very pleased with that. That showed me that I’ve done a lot of things right and performed well. I’ve been called up to the national team two times in a row and don’t see my international career as a closed chapter – quite on the contrary, actually. I really want to go to the European Championship in 2021.”
A permanent move to Hoffenheim would seem the ideal solution, but the Sinsheim club would be unwilling/ unwilling to meet his current €6 million release clause.
His contract at the Veltins Arena runs until 2022, so either Schalke are going to have to lower their transfer fee for the defensive midfielder or find another loan deal to get his wages off their books.
Whether he will indeed find a way of staying at Hoffenheim next season, or whether the ex-Bayern and VfB Stuttgart midfielder will find himself plying his trade elsewhere remains to be seen. Something has to give, and that looks very much like a reduced fee for cash-strapped Schalke.