Max Meyer’s contract at Schalke ends on June 20th and he’ll subsequently be looking for a new club.
Accoridng to the German publication Bild, the 22-year-old’s agent Roger Wittmann and the Buundesliga club’s sporting director Christian Heidel were involved in a public feud. The former is still waiting to help his client find a new club.
The same report claims Southampton were provided an opportunity to sign Meyer. However, Bild say the Saints turned down the opportunity.
Southampton are currently 18th in the Premier League table with 32 points after 35 games, one point behind 17th placed Swansea City.
Meanwhile, Bild also indicates that Meyer is a transfer target for Europa League finalists Atletico Madrid. The Spanish capital club registered a 2-1 aggregate victory over Arsenal in the semi-final and the Gunners are also interested in signing the Schalke midfielder.
Meyer decided against signing a new deal at Schalke earlier in February. Since then, he has seen his first team opportunities being limited. His last appearance for the German club came in his side’s 2-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund on 15th April.
He is currently suspended for crticisng Heidel after Meyer accused Schalke of bullying him.
“I was never concerned about the money, otherwise I would have accepted the second improved offer,” Meyer told Bild.
“That’s why I find it a mess for Clemens Tonnies to say it on TV as if it were all about money. I simply did not want to stay with Schalke and work under Heidel. It’s all about this. Lately, it just feels like bullying to me.
“I did not want to come out and talk. I’ve just had enough of always reading something about myself, but neither Heidel nor Tonnies talked to me. Now they can read how the last two years have been for me at Schalke.”
There seems to have been a concerted effort to down-talk Meyer in the German media, which for this season at least has appeared a practice common where Schalke are concerned, regardless who the player is.
Offering Meyer to Southampton makes little sense. The club are sliding into the Championship and aren’t crying out for a player of his type.
Southampton won’t have leaked it to Bild, Meyer’s camp almost certainly won’t have, so one has to consider where this information has come from and who it serves best.
Bild suggest Southampton may have been put off by the player asking for a signing-on fee of around €10m, again painting him as a money grabber.
So who would it benefit for a story to be pushed making Meyer seem greedy and at the same time showing he’s not much wanted? It’s all too obvious.