Czech international Kral to sign for Schalke

By Peter Vice

Virtually all German football media sources are now reporting that FC Schalke 04 are about to pull off a major coup.

Czech midfielder Alex Kral – a €7million heavyweight once linked to much wealthier clubs like Leipzig – will travel to Gelsenkirchen on the cheap.

Kral plays for the Czech Republic Tadeas Bednarz CC-BY-SA 4.0

24-year-old Czech international Alex Kral will reportedly lead North Rhine-Westphalia next season to don the royal blue shirt of newly promoted FC Schalke 04. The 32-time capped international, currently owned by Spartak Moscow, will be at the Bundesliga club’s disposal via a special UEFA clause that allows players under contract with Russian clubs to suspend their working papers for a year.

As of now, it’s still unclear why Kral chose Schalke over other potential suitors. Moreover, the precise terms of the arrangement also become murky. It’s possible that Schalke still have to agree a loan deal with Spartak in order to exercise their rights over the player. Spartak recently collected some €5million in loan fees from Premiership side West Ham United, during which Kral spent the entire 2021/22 season on the bench.

German football magazine Kicker, among others, reports that Kral is scheduled for a medical in Gelsenkirchen on Wednesday. Although his use of nion in London has seen Kral’s estimated market value rise from a peak of around €12m to €7m in the latest transfer listings, the defensive midfielder’s current value would make him by far Schalke’s biggest summer acquisition.

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