FC Schalke 04 ready to begin negotiations with Daniel Caligiuri

Daniel Caligiuri is one of a few talented FC Schalke 04 players on expiring contracts, and the Royal Blues are reportedly ready to begin negotiating with the veteran midfielder during winter training camp.

A standout in 2017-2018 when FC Schalke 04 finished second in the Bundesliga and a lone bright spot in a dark 2018-2019 campaign, Daniel Caligiuri has been a key part of the Royal Blues lineup since joining the team from VfL Wolfsburg in 2017.

Now 31 years old, the versatile winger, wingback, and midfielder has only six months left on his contract, and Schalke have a difficult decision to make. Will they keep a technically-sound leader with versatility for a couple of more years, or do they move on and make way for the new generation of stars at the Veltins Arena?

According to a report from Kicker, via Schalke Daily, Daniel Caligiuri wants to extend his contract with the club this season, but Head of Sport Jochen Schneider is hesitant about putting pen to paper in January.

However, Schalke and Caligiuri are scheduled to begin talks during the club’s training camp this winter in Spain.

Caligiuri has shown some signs of decline this season, but he’s also shown his class, particularly on set pieces. Per WhoScored.com, he is second on the team in key passes per game behind Amine Harit and third in both dribbles per game and fouls drawn per game behind both Harit and Suat Serdar. That’s not bad company. Highlighting Caligiuri’s all-around ability, he’s also averaging 1.6 tackles per game (more than Jonjoe Kenny) despite playing a less defensive role this year.

Furthermore, the Royal Blues have a dearth of options out wide, especially when it comes to a two-way winger. Alessandro Schopf has shown signs of fulfilling that role, but he’s been dealing with injuries this season.

Because of his age, Caligiuri can’t earn much more than a one, perhaps two, year contract from Schalke. He has the skill-set and versatility to be useful as he gets older, but, again, the signs of decline are beginning to show. That said, he remains a quality player in Schalke’s starting lineup, and his leadership gives him added importance. Given that he wants to say, Schalke should do what they can, within reason, to keep him in Gelsenkirchen.