Kevin Wimmer may be at the centre of an unexpected transfer tug of war as he looks set to leave Stoke City on a loan deal yet again next season.
The Austrian signed a five-year contract in the summer of 2017 when he arrived from Tottenham Hotspur for a mammoth fee of £18 million – to say he failed to deliver would be an understatement.
Wimmer played 17 times in his first season at the bet365 Stadium, and when Paul Lambert came in to replace Mark Hughes he failed to get a look-in.
The 28-year-old hasn’t played since January 2018 and in the last two seasons he’s been out on loans to Hannover and Mouscron in Germany and Belgium respectively, but his wages mean that he’s been incredibly hard to shift permanently.
That has continued into this season as the mid-season transfer window saw him join German second tier side Karlsruhe, where he’s made 10 league appearances.
Both the club and Wimmer want that association to continue into next season, but a rival has emerged for his signature in Rapid Vienna.
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According to Peter Linden (via Laola), the Austrian side are considering Wimmer as an alternative to Mateo Barac, but because he is still contracted on a big wage to the Potters a loan looks more likely, per the Stoke Sentinel.
Wimmer though is hoping for his contract to be settled so he has the freedom to move where he wants, but he may not end up getting his wish.
Whether they pay Wimmer off or if he goes out on loan for another season, Stoke are still saddled with the defender’s wages for one more season.
It’s unlikely that Karslruhe have been paying much of it and in terms of Stoke’s history of transfers go it must be the biggest flop they’ve had.
The club are looking to get a number of big earners off the wage bill but Wimmer may be the hardest of all to shift – but we’ll see in a few months if he’s still at the bet365 Stadium or if a settlement is finally made.