By FRANCO PANIZO
The new year might bring a new place to call home for Jermaine Jones, whose days at Schalke appear to be all but over.
Schalke released a statement on their official website on Thursday that said Jones would not partake in their upcoming trip to Qatar to prepare for the second half of the Bundesliga season. Jones has instead requested an immediate transfer, a wish which seems likely to be granted given that the U.S. Men’s National Team’s midfielder’s contract expires at the end of the season.
Jones asking a move elsewhere may seem surprising seeing as how the World Cup is a mere five months away, but things have not been all rosy this season for him. Earlier this season, he was dropped from Schalke’s squad for a UEFA Champions League game vs. FC Basel and the 32-year-old veteran also reportedly wanted to undergo a procedure to repair his knee during his winter break before changing his mind and postponing any surgery.
The Washington Post reported in October 2013 that Jones had hired a U.S.-based agency to explore the possibility of signing with MLS as early as during this winter transfer window. Jones allegedly wants to move his family into a home in Los Angeles and prefers to play for a club in Southern California, which means the LA Galaxy and Chivas USA are two possible destinations.
A regular in Schalke’s lineup since joining the club in 2007, Jones has made 14 league appearances this season and five in the Champions League. He scored one goal in league play back on Nov. 30 against Stuttgart.
Schalke are currently in seventh place in the Bundesliga, and are set to begin a Round of 16 Champions League series with Real Madrid in February.
What do you think of Jones wanting out at Schalke? Hoping he comes to MLS or stays abroad? Worried about how this might affect his form ahead of the World Cup?
Share your thoughts below.