Three goalkeepers may be vying for the No. 1 jersey at Schalke next season, and Goal has been investigating the possible permutations between Alexander Nubel, Ralf Fahrmann and Markus Schubert.
Fahrmann has been first choice in Gelsenkirchen since 2011, but was displaced at the tail-end of last season by Nubel.
In addition, Dynamo Dresden shot-stopper Schubert may join the club, but only if one of the incumbents departs.
Nubel was named in the UEFA team of the tournament for the recent Euro U-21 Championships, despite an error in the final which saw his team go down 2-1 to Spain.
Atletico Madrid were also thought to be in the running, but club president Miguel Angel Gil Marin denied making an approach for Nubel when asked by Goal.
Schalke have made a concrete offer to Nubel, in an attempt to extend a contract that expires in 2020, but he was unhappy with his playing time with the club last year.
“I played a few games last year, but nothing came of it,” the 22-year-old said in May. “If I was Schalke I would have acted differently, but I do not know the strategy of the club.”
Schalke sporting director Jochen Schneider said his club wanted to keep the young star
"We will do everything to keep him, but I can't promise anything," he said during the club's recent general meeting
A new contract with an opt-out clause would suit the player, as he would play for Schalke, but would be free to leave. Such a deal would not suit Fahrmann however.
Fahrmann, who was captain of the team until February, and his ouster as No. 1, would not be happy to be Nubel’s back-up, and there are offers from Premier League clubs.
Norwich City are chief amongst them, and he may be convinced to leave, despite a contract that runs until 2022.
If his young rival leaves Fahrmann will stay at Schalke, disappointing the Canaries' German manager Daniel Farke.
The third member of the trio, Schubert, is a free-agent after his Dresden contract expired.
He was Nubel’s back-up at the Euros and may be so again. He has attracted interest from Fortuna Dusseldorf, Augsburg, Stuttgart and Arsenal yet his preference is Schalke - but only if one of their current crop of ‘keepers leaves.
His four-year contract with the club cannot be announced yet, but with one or the other players likely to leave, the club believe it will be soon.