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Matthew Hoppe returns to Schalke training as transfer rumors continue to swirl

Matthew Hoppe has returned to training with Schalke after a reported illness, and while the club has played up his return, it shouldn’t be taken as a sign that he is staying with the German second-division club.

Reports out of England claim that English clubs such as Newcastle and Wolves are considering a bid for the 20-year-old forward, who is fresh off an impressive showing at the Gold Cup, and who is expected to make a summer transfer move away from the recently-relegated Bundesliga club.

Crystal Palace and Everton have also been named as potential destinations for Hoppe.

Hoppe’s return to training shouldn’t be seen as evidence that he is staying put. After all, Weston McKennie took part in training with Schalke a year ago before eventually joining Juventus on a loan that turned into a transfer.

It is clear Hoppe’s representatives are going through the usual motions of floating transfer links and scouring England for potential landing spots for the young forward. The $9.4 million asking price reportedly being sought by Schalke (reported by German outlet Bild) was an ambitious price tag, and is what has limited Hoppe’s options to England, the only market with teams willing to spend anything close to that. Hoppe will have a hard time finding suitors outside England to pay anything close to that price for a relatively unproven striker with a half season of top-flight soccer under his belt.

Still, Hoppe’s six goals in 22 matches in the Bundesliga for Schalke coupled with his strong showing at the Gold Cup has sparked increased interest in teams that see him as a potential gem.

Photo by John Dorton/ISI Photos

If the reported $2.7 million offer being lined up by Everton is a real figure, then the gap between Schalke’s valuation and what teams are willing to pay could force Hoppe to stay unless Schalke backs off its reported initial valuation.

Of the teams linked to Hoppe, Crystal Palace is the most interesting, with manager Patrick Vieira having coached American players during his time as head coach of New York City FC. Vieira also had a good relationship with U.S. men’s national team coach Gregg Berhalter when both were coaching in MLS.

Everton,  Newcastle United and Wolves have all had American players before, with Owen Otasowie currently at Wolves for the moment, though he is expected to leave via transfer this summer.

Hoppe missed Schalke’s recent 2. Bundesliga match versus Aue with what was reported as a stomach bug. Schalke returns to action on Saturday against Regensberg.

There are still two weeks to go before the European transfer window loses on August 31, so it could be at least another week before Hoppe’s club situation is sorted out.

Comments

  1. 6 goals for a terrible team is pretty solid POC for a 19 year old. In fact its almost amazing if you saw Schalke last year. I am sure he’d like to be on a better team, forgot the league, Schalke is horrible.

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  2. Can’t say I’m wildly enthused about any of the clubs who are supposedly interested. Did see some rumors involving Ajax and PSV, but who knows what could possibly be true. Guess I’m just not a fan of the “silly season” in the way I was when I was younger!

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    • Maybe a little more frustrating this year with qualifying just days after the window closes. Several players that have a shot at making the roster that haven’t played yet because they are waiting for a move.

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  3. i think some of this buyer-seller gap thing is an english quirk. what it takes to get you permitted begins to price you out of what many smaller clubs want to pay. so they will take you on loan — dike — but not buy. as such many americans in england are second passport holders. to me it’s pivoted to germany being the better landing spot, surely someone wants him there? dunno, the whole thing speaks to how money distorts wise landing strip choices. it encourages over-ambitious choices.

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    • I think Hoppe’s agent has probably made it clear where Matthew wants to go and since we’re only hearing EPL teams it seems to be England. Teams know Schalke is still in the financial weeds so they’re low balling them. Schalke’s evaluation is high as well at least based on Transfermkt’s number. Crystal Palace has spent a lot this window so I don’t know that they can stay in the race but the other mentioned clubs have been pretty moderate in spending. I think he’ll go for 6-8 plus add-ons in the last day or two before the window closes probably to a club not previously mentioned.

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      • Ok sounds like maybe Everton for 5.5 million USD in the next few days. So I was wrong on date, club, but pretty close on fee. Or that was a baseless rumor and I could still be right, or wrong but in another way.

      • if there are several teams interested it it will get bid up by the auction process but probably not to $10m for a guy with basically one scoring streak and some regional tournament effectiveness. i do agree it is likely to get done late because schalke will want to maximize money, even if they don’t get asking price. not sure if that is ideal for the player — as the team will be several weeks into the season. also not sure if the auction process gets him best fit or instead the richest buyer. it was kind of a fluke the process that led him to B.1 last year so i think he could use someplace that will play him.

      • i also think the wrinkle often not considered by clubs holding out til the end is transfer interest is dynamic, many times driven by a hole to fill, and if the hole gets filled, they don’t need your player anymore. the thinking is often driven by a seller mindset. i have this valuable thing, you will all wait around and compete for it. but there are other similar things. maybe i buy that and go away. my dynamo have several times blown $6m transfers waiting on theorized $8m offers only to sell for $1-2m to whoever is left at the end. unless this is messi you are not the only one offering something that looks vaguely like hoppe. if you get cute i go with plan B.

    • Soto received his work permit in January according to multiple news outlets (including SBI). Work permits run for three years so it doesn’t appear that had any effect on Soto’s situation. He played a couple U23 matches then left for OQ and then never played for them again. His loan was very early in the Summer as well so it’s hard to tell what’s going on. Either Norwich doesn’t rate him or he was very unhappy there and asked out.

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    • i think with the ranking rise he sneaks across the permit threshold. under the new sliding scale, top 10 teams if you have 30% caps you’re automatically in. he has by my count 5 appearances in about 16 games we have played since last august. 31.25%. i know he has some german family tree — which would obviate the permit if he had a passport — but not sure if he has one. even if i have the math wrong with the new points system he would get credit for play in bundesliga last year, gold cup, etc., which together with the 5 caps probably gets him there.

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      • His minutes at Schalke last year combined with transferring from a club in 2Bundesliga would have him close if not across the line. Club points come from % of minutes and I didn’t want to do that math. He’d have qualified even if we were in the 11-20 range of the world rankings. I do think the NT caps points were the reason he chose GC over preseason though, just as Norwich sent Soto in December to get him over the line.

      • is soto across the line yet? he keeps getting loaned. he’s at porto this year with the B team. i thought norwich was a silly choice for him on the permit issue and because his telstar loan had just offset his german first team experience, only to put himself back in a precarious way. and now, to say what no one else seems to be, they signed someone who can play his position, from his country, fair or unfair ahead of him on our depth chart. meanwhile he’s on loan #2. does that sound like this is trending the right way? and the problem on permits is going to be this is a young NT and if you go about your career as trying to use NT to get club going it may never start. he is out of favor NT enough he ironically needs to flourish club to get the rest going and this is a poor platform for that.

  4. Don’t think it’s the end of the world if he playing well in the 2 Bund. More worried about Schalke being a total disaaster and it affeccting the on field performance.

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    • agree, wouldn’t mind seeing him over in Bund 2 and get a good season under him. But you’re right this isn’t the Schalke of old.

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    • i thought they had money troubles and needed to clear people out. in which case they can price him to the moon but he has to get sold to pay bills. so it may be a deadline day regaining of sense on his price. personally i thought if it could be afforded both he and sargent could have done worse than stay. sargent has never really blown the doors off a league year. hoppe jumped from a tepid developmental period to starting first team and kind of skipped some rungs. don’t think it would hurt either to put up 10-15 as proof of concept, then move back up from a position of strength.

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