Freiburg coach Christian Streich has admitted that he is ‘not confident’ of keeping Robin Koch and Luca Waldschmidt this summer amid interest from Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, speaking to Kicker.
The Bundesliga’s perennial overachievers have served up yet another slice of humble pie to each and every critic who predicted that their ‘luck’ would run out this season.
Freiburg once again started 2019/20 as relegated candidates but ended it in eighth, within touching distance of the Europa League places.
Though if the Black Forest side are to continue punching above their weight, they may have to do so without a pair of star players.
The Sun (26 June, page 54) reports that £22 million-rated Germany international has been lined up as a replacement for Jan Vertonghen at Spurs, with Koch flattered by the interest from Jose Mourinho.
Waldschmidt, meanwhile, is a target for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool a year after finishing as the top scorer at the U21 European championships (Fussballeck in May).
And, with Freiburg hit hard by the ongoing financial crisis, Streich knows that keeping Koch and Waldschmidt for another year could be easier said than done.
“I’m not particularly confident about that,” the veteran boss says. “But I’m not afraid of it either. We are a club that, like many others, relies on transfer proceeds.
“We train players, they get better, then go. It’s part of our job.”
Koch is a centre-back by trade but, blessed with a superb passing range, he has made the adaptation to a new-look midfield role with ease of late.
Waldschmidt, meanwhile, is an intelligent, skilful and versatile attacker who could perhaps act as Roberto Firmino’s deputy at Anfield.