Stoke’s hopes of offloading Kevin Wimmer have suffered a blow, after it was reported by Bild that Cologne will only sign the centre back as an ’emergency option’.
It was reported last month by Sky Sports that Wimmer is one of a number of Stoke players who have been told that they will not be part of the club’s first-team plans for next season, and the Austrian has since been training with Cologne following his apparent exile from the Potters.
Now however, it seems that any hopes of a permanent return to Cologne – for whom Wimmer made 73 appearances in all competitions between 2012 and 2015 – is unlikely, with the latest report from Germany claiming that the newly promoted Bundesliga side are looking at alternative defensive options to the 26-year-old, and will only sign him as a last resort.
Since moving to Stoke from Tottenham for a reported £18million fee in the summer of 2017, Wimmer has made just 19 appearances in all competitions for the Potters, with the Austrian spending last season on loan with Hannover, as the German side were relegated from the Bundesliga.
There are currently still three years remaining on Wimmer’s contract at the bet365 Stadium, meaning he could still potentially be a Stoke player until the of 2022 at the very least.
This feels like a frustrating situation for all parties.
With Wimmer seemingly well out of the picture at Stoke, you imagine that he will want his future decided and a new club secured as quickly as possible, so this is certainly not an update he will have wanted as he approaches the peak of his career.
You imagine this will not have gone down all that well with Stoke either. Having spent as much as they did on the Austrian, only for it to have backfired so badly, you feel they will want to move him on as quickly as possible in order to make some of their money back and clear the wage budget.
Even so, with Wimmer seemingly struggling to impress potential other clubs, and three years remaining on his Stoke contract, this feels like a nightmare that could be going on for some time longer yet for the Austrian.