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Schalke express their discontent with Leon Goretzka

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Both the board and fans haven’t been shy in expressing their feelings towards Goretzka.

FC Schalke 04 v Hannover 96 - Bundesliga Photo by TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images

Since the announcement of Leon Goretzka’s summer move to Bayern, Schalke have expressed their opinions on the transfer, with both the club and fans taking a hard stance of what they think of the 22-year-old’s actions.

The Board

Schalke’s supervisory Board Chairman, Clemens Tönnies, has publicly commented on his thoughts about Goretzka’s decision to move to Bayern this summer on a free transfer. “My first reaction was, that you shouldn’t wear the jersey of Schalke anymore,” said Tönnies during an interview with Sky show Wontorra. He even went as far as to say that Goretzka could spend the second half of the season in the stands should his decision have a negative impact on the rest of the team, though whether or not he plays will ultimately be decided by the coach, Domenico Tedesco.

It’s easy to understand why the club is frustrated, especially after they believed they were close to a contract extension with Goretzka last summer. “There was really no doubt that the negotiated extension would be signed,” Tönnies expressed. “We wanted to make him the face of FC Schalke.” Goretzka, though, asked for more time to consider after winning the Confederations cup with Germany.

Bayern have since responded to the comments, with Sporting Director Hasan Salihamidzic saying that “Leon has a great character, and I think that he’ll lead Schalke to the Champions League and give everything for the club until June 30th.”

Goretzka signed a four year deal with Bayern earlier this month, and he’ll officially become a Bayern player on July 1st. But it sounds like Schalke would be open to the possibility of Goretzka leaving Gelsenkirchen before the end of the transfer window. “If Karl-Heinz Rummenigge calls, we’ll pick up the phone,” said Tönnies.

Though the initial anger the club felt has subsided, Tönnies calls on Goretzka to act professionally, should he stay until the end of the season. ”I don’t want to declare him an enemy. We don’t want to hurt him, it’s up to him,” so Tönnies. “Ideally, he plays the Rückrunde of his life, leads us to a second place finish and a place in the cup final.”

The Fans

The fans’ reaction has been - as expected - quite harsh.

On Saturday afternoon, they expressed their discontent with the player at their final practice before their game versus Hannover (video below), calling him a “Bayern pig,” and an “Honor-less dog,” amongst other things. “You’re lucky there are so many kids here, or I’d take you off the field myself,” exclaimed one particularly upset fan.

The displeasure has naturally carried over to today’s game. Banners that read “Neither cash nor titles are worth more than our club! Who doesn’t appreciate that can piss right off!” and “1000 friends let down for emotionless titles and shallow flakes” were hung up before the match.

Whether or not Goretzka can play his way back into the good graces of the Schalke fan base is anyones guess, but judging by the last few days, his departure and reputation at the club could mirror that of Manuel Neuer, who has been greeted with boos and whistles ever since he swaped his Schalke shirt for a Bayern one seven years ago.