Jermaine Jones’ agent has been told that the USA international is free to leave Schalke during the January transfer window despite the ankle injury suffered by new arrival Jan Kirchhoff, who is also a defensive midfielder. Jones has been given permission to stay in Germany to look at offers from other clubs while the rest of the Schalke squad is in Qatar for its winter training camp. Kirchhoff, a loan signing from Bayern Munich, suffered an injury setback shortly after his arrival, but Jones’ agent Roger Wittman said this would have no affect on the German-American’s situation. "Schalke have given us their word that [Jones] can leave," Wittmann told Bild on Monday.
Meanwhile, Coach Jens Keller told a news conference why the player is being allowed to move on. "I could not tell Jones that he'd have a guaranteed starting spot in the second half of the season,” the Schalke boss said. "He was professional about being benched during the first half of the season, but with a World Cup on the horizon, and at the age of 32, it might have become a bit more difficult."