Cologne keen on permanent deal for Borussia Dortmund's Neven Subotic
Cologne are set to enter talks with on-loan Borussia Dortmund defender Neven Subotic over a permanent move.
Subotic, 28, joined Cologne on loan in January after a difficult 18 months at Dortmund in which he made just six appearances, having found himself out of favour under coach Thomas Tuchel and struggled with injuries.
He has played six times for Cologne since arriving and, while he has not yet recovered his best form, the club's sporting director, Jorg Schmadtke, told kicker that talks to make the move permanent will get underway next month.
"He cares about what happens around him," Schmadtke added.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Subotic also hinted at a permanent move to the Mungersdorfer Stadion.
"You usually say that money and footballers is such a thing, but I would actually pay just to play football, even though I shouldn't really address that before entering contract talks," he said. "But football gives me a lot in life."
Elsewhere, Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has explained the lack of game time for Andre Schurrle, who struck a brace for Germany in their recent qualifier at Azerbaijan.
"With his quality, Andre would start in nearly every other team in the world but, with [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, [Christian] Pulisic, [Marco] Reus and [Ousmane] Dembele, we have five top players for three positions right now, and that's why it hasn't been easy for Andre lately," Watzke told Bild.
He added: "It will certainly change again soon. Basically, it's easier to win minutes for Germany than it is for, say, Bayern or Dortmund."
Following Sunday's brace, Schurrle said that his strong performance against Azerbaijan was in part down to the trust Germany head coach Joachim Low puts in him.
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.