Most of the worry around Planet Effzeh revolves around the floundering offense that meant the Cup match against a third-division side went without a goal until penalties and that a punchless SC Freiburg side was able to snatch all three points at Müngersdorf with little more than an unfortunate arm placement on a sliding clearance attempt.
But a bit of news from the Transfermarkt website could heighten drama from the other end of the pitch to the point of maybe drowning out any chatter about the miserable offensive output (and all the back-and-forth about whistling from the home fans).
The contract status of young goalkeeper Timo Horn is not a new topic to followers of the club. An extension to keep the rising 21-year-old star has been targeted, but thus far to no aval.
And now, further complicating an already touchy situation, website Transfermarkt.de recently raised Horn’s market value at 4 million Euro, which is one million more than it was ten league matches ago and double what it was the summer prior.
Or maybe such things do not complicate negotiations whatsoever.
“We are in talks and will not be upset just because there is suddenly a new market value,” was the response of Jörg Schmadtke. “Prices are determined based on supply and demand and not on simple market value.”
Fair. But we all know Horn’s representatives will not hesitate to mention the escalating value, even if the numbers are based on outsider perception, in efforts to sqeeze as much money as possible from a new deal. That is, after all, why they were hired and why they will get a percentage of the deal they negotiate..
Such things can also be a shortcut for teams putting together a short list of players to fill a need. Horn is a player in the penultimate season of his current contract with a quickly escalating value. That automatically gets his name mentioned in those discussions.
The updated value ranks Horn as the most-valuable player on the roster, with 500,000 more Euro to his name than Yannick Gerhardt and Chelsea loan Tomas Kalas, who are the next names on the list.
The Transfermarkt numbers are, in no way, official, but when you consider that Portuguese side Benfica was ready to pay 7 million to snatch Gerhardt away, it would seem safe to assume any well-moneyed club with an eye to padding goalkeeping depth will be keeping an eye toward Köln as long as no extension is reached.
The Benfica offer noted, the Horn situation is vastly different. A club can play just one keeper in any given match. Horn is too young to take a step back from being an every-match player to a guy who plays sparingly. His relative inexperience at top-flight football means also that he’s probably too big a risk for a bigger club to go all-in on him as the new guy. Earlier rumors had Borussia Dortmund casting an eye his way, but even if the club knew Roman Weidenfeller were retiring at season’s end, would they be ready to give Horn the bulk of the work between the posts?
Besides, I’m not sure BVB wasn’t taking a page out of the Bayern playbook, floating rumors of interest in one of a coming opponents players just to put a little discomfort in everyone’s minds before an important match. It’s a bit of a jerk-move, which BVB is only too happy to point out every season when Bayern does it to them. Yet, I can’t help but think that was, at least partially, the motivation behind that little bit of gossip hitting ears.
“Ultimately, it is good for us. It shows that we take the right approach with our guys is good and it’s changing how they are perceived in public.”
Sure, Jörg. That’s probably true. It IS good for us as long as we can keep enough talent to keep moving forward to the point of being more frequently the potential buyer in these situations rather than always the talent-developing seller.
As long as the Effzeh remain in the Bundesliga, Köln would seem the best fit for Horn right now.