CLINT WADDELL - Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Jermaine Jones may have already played his last game for Schalke 04.
The American midfielder has been playing with Schalke's second team for over a month now and wasn't included in the squad that went to winter training camp in Belek, Turkey.
The most recent speculation has him going to either VfL Wolfsburg or 1899 Hoffenheim – both in the German Bundesliga. The former was apparently interested in signing the 29 year-old defensive midfielder last summer as part of a "trade" involving Zvjezdan Misimovic. The latter has been brought in connection due to Hoffenheim's lack of a defensive midfielder after sending Luis Gustavo to Bayern Munich last week. No offers or statements have been officially made or received.
Jones has been having a war of words with head coach Felix Magath for most of the 2010/11 season, with Magath saying that Jones hasn't played with intensity and, most recently, that he has even been involved in espionage. Jones, on the other hand, said early on that he doesn't feel appreciated at Schalke – especially when the team seems to be "planning without him".
Magath is set on thinning out his squad during the winter break, with up to 11 players on the cut-list. According to the German media, these include Jones, Albert Streit, Nicolas Plestan, Erik Jendrišek, Jun-Min Hao, Alexander Baumjohann, Hans Sarpei, Mario Gavranovic, Besart Ibraimi, Sergio Escudero and Ciprian Deac.
According to reports, Schalke has 12 million euros in salary that is either sitting in the stands or on the bench. Something that the debt-ridden club wants to reduce.