According to Kicker, Schalke could be making an offer to Fulham for 30 year old right back Sascha Riether. Fulham signed Riether from FC Koln, after he spent last season with the club, and they picked up his option to buy for 1.4 million Euros reportedly.
Riether had an exceptional season with Fulham at right back, and many like myself felt he should have been player of the season, even though the award went to Dimitar Berbatov. His ability to to be solid in the back, but also be an asset to push up front when needed was so valuable last season. His crosses in the box set up scoring opportunities, and goals for the team.
He also re-connected with his former Wolfsburg teammate, right winger Ashkan Dejagah to establish a great partnership with him that paid dividends for Fulham. Their chemistry was very evident, and especially noticeable when one of them could not play because of an injury, and the overall play of Fulham suffered.
There is no question that Riether has proved his worth to Fulham, so what should the club do when others come knocking on the door? Last week, I wrote an article that Fulham should say "NO" to offers for Alex Kacaniklic. He is a young player that Fulham should build around, and I am against Fulham selling him at this point.
The situation with Riether is much more complicated I feel in regards to what Fulham should do if teams put in transfer requests for the Fulham right back. First, he is 30 years old, and you have to weigh how many more quality seasons you can get out of the player.
Second, according to Transfermarkt.com, he is under contract with Fulham for one more season that ends next June 30th. The contract length could be an issue if you want him to stay more than just one season. The contract length also makes it attractive to other clubs to try to buy him.
Third, does the player want to stay at Fulham or would he want to go back to Germany? This factor is completely in the hands of the player.
So, there is no question that he is a valuable player right now for Fulham. These three factors I just mentioned could come into play when making a decision on Riether, if an actual offer does come from another club.
If it was my decision, I would make it as difficult as possible for another club to take him away from Fulham. I would be working on a new long term deal as I think he is worth it. Unless the offer was extremely substantial, I think Fulham should hold onto Riether as he could be an important member of the 2013-2014 Fulham squad.
I do hope Riether wants to stay at Fulham as he has quickly become a fan favorite. I interviewed him two months ago for Cottage Talk, and asked him to talk about his desire to stay at Fulham that he talked about in the magazine Fultime, and also share his overall thoughts of being at the club. Here are the comments below from the Sascha Riether interview on Cottage Talk two months ago.
"I have enjoyed this year in the Premier League at Fulham. It's a great club and a great honor to play in this club. We will have talks in the next weeks and then we hope to have a positive result."
I am lucky that I had the privilege of interviewing Riether this year, and last year I talked to Aaron Hughes for Cottage Talk. If you would like to hear the entire Riether interivew please feel free to listen below.
My hope is that we see Riether playing for Fulham this upcoming season, but I wouldn't be surprised if a club tries to take him away. Unfortunately, when you have good players, other clubs are probably going to want them.
Transfer speculation surrounding Riether could continue, and if an actual offer comes for this player, Martin Jol and the management at Fulham will need to do what is best for the club. As I have mentioned, it is not an easy decision one way or another because there are several factors involved.