FC Schalke 04 have made tough personnel decisions in the midst of a difficult time for the club and with an eye on the five crucial Bundesliga games remaining before the winter break. Nabil Bentaleb and Amine Harit will train individually, under the supervision of the first-team coaching staff, until further notice. Vedad Ibisevic’s contract with the club will end on December 31, 2020.
Jochen Schneider, head of sport and communication, explained the decisions by saying, “We need to treat each case on an individual basis. Both the club and Vedad had expected his time at Schalke to take a different path. From our perspective, it makes sense to end our cooperation and to leave on good terms. I’ve known Vedad for several years, both as a person and as a player. Unfortunately, Schalke hasn’t proven to be the right fit that we had promised each other. I would like to make it clear that this decision has nothing to do with the emotional outburst in training last Sunday – that’s something that can happen in football.”
Schneider had following to say about Amine Harit, “There were some things that happened last weekend which we were not okay with. That’s why Amine has been given time to think. He has a lot of potential as a player, but hasn’t been able to bring that to the team over the last few months. We will not abandon him, but will do everything we can to get him to where he is able to use his talent to help the club. It’s now up to Amine to find him way back into the team.”
Schneider made the following statement about Nabil Bentaleb, “There’s no question that he’s a great footballer. But, we have established that Schalke and Nabil Bentaleb clearly aren’t a good fit. There’s nothing in this moment that has led to this, but rather, it was part of a process. We will part ways by summer 2021 at the latest.”
Now, the focus is on the five games remaining until the end of the year. “Reducing the size of our squad is part of that. It’s about placing the full focus on the football and how the team perform,” said Schneider. “It’s not about individuals, but solely about ensuring that our club stays up. Everything else is secondary. Team spirit and cooperation are absolutely at the forefront.”