Schalke 04 have been busy getting their transfer business done early if you believe the German press - with Sidney Sam the first name reportedly ready to join the Gelsenkirchen club at the end of the season.
But they have also been linked with a move for a new goalkeeper - as their current stopper Timo Hildebrand struggles for top form.
One such player has been Arsenal’s out-of-favour stopper Lukasz Fabianski. The undoubtedly talented Poland international has seen himself drop back behind his compatriot Wojciech Szczesny in the pecking order at The Emirates this season - and with his contract due to expire in the summer is widely expected to leave the club in 2014.
But he may have to consider other options … as Schalke 04 have apparently already signed a new goalkeeper.
German sports magazine Kicker has reported that in fact Schalke have ‘agreed’ to sign 23-year-old German Fabian Giefer from Fortuna Dusseldorf.
The talented custodian has been in fine form in the 2.Bundesliga this season and that has seen a number of teams take an interest in his services - one of which is Schalke.
The contract between Schalke and the 23-year-old goalkeeper of the second division shall be signed only six months before the expiry of the contract - namely 1 January 2014. The transfer free Giefer will receive a multi-year contract.
Fabianski is still almost certain to leave Arsenal, if not in January, but when his contract expires in a little over six months.
But the fact remains that now the option that appeared on the table has gone from underneath him.
So it is back to the drawing board for Fabianski as he seeks an escape from The Emirates.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald