Schalke's Kevin-Prince Boateng linked with move to China, reports say
Kevin-Prince Boateng could move on to China, according to reports in Germany.
The former AC Milan midfielder has become surplus to requirements at Schalke, and the Royal Blues hope to get him off the payroll despite a contract through to 2016.
Boateng's demotion following his lacklustre performance in a 3-0 defeat at Borussia Dortmund in late February has led to speculation about his departure from Gelsenkirchen this summer.
Boateng is one of the big earners at the Veltins Arena, but he has failed to offer much in return in his second season at the club. He has featured in only 16 league games, has started a disappointing 10, and has failed to find the back of the net throughout the year.
A report in Bild on Thursday linked the former AC Milan midfielder with a switch to China, where two top clubs are said to be interested in him.
"I have also heard about the interest from China. But there is nothing concrete yet," Schalke sporting executive Horst Heldt confirmed in the paper. "We have agreed to sit down with his agents in the summer."
While it remains unclear where Boateng will move, Schalke hope to find a club offering to match his €8 million annual salary at the Royal Blues, and at the same time offering at least some transfer fee for the fallen midfielder, Bild said.
Boateng has in the past also been linked with a move to MLS in the United States, where his fiancée Melissa Satta was born and hopes to start a career as an actress.
During the final days of the 2013 summer transfer window, the 28-year-old Boateng joined Schalke with high hopes on both sides. Having last played in the Bundesliga during a six-month loan at Borussia Dortmund until June 2009, the Berlin-born Boateng wanted to revive his career, and the Royal Blues hoped to have signed a leader for their young squad.
But in his first season Boateng struggled with an ankle injury, and especially during the run-in he failed to live up to his expectations. Ahead of the World Cup, he returned to the spotlight when mocking the Germany team for their lack of a real leader.
During the tournament in Brazil, he was expelled from the Ghana squad for disciplinary reasons.