It is certainty. Philipp Hofmann will leave Karlsruher SC this summer, the striker confirmed in an interview with ka-news.de on Wednesday. However, the striker has denied having agreed an agreement with VfL Bochum yet. Its destination will be specified in the coming weeks. At KSC, meanwhile, they are preparing for a future without the top scorer of recent years.
After a free Tuesday, Karlsruher SC started on Wednesday morning with preparations for the top game in the second division on Saturday evening at Hamburger SV. After a unit in the weight room, trainer Christian Eichner asked his team to join the training ground.
Season off for Gersbeck
After another unit of power and sprint, the ten-on-ten-plus-two match went to work. At the same time, Markus Miller underwent goalkeeping training with the goalkeepers. The regular number one, Marius Gersbeck, was not there.
As announced by KSC on Wednesday, the goalkeeper will undergo surgery on his injured hand on Thursday. It’s the end of the season for him. Markus Kuster will likely replace him for the remaining matches.
While everything is going well in the team, the question of the future of top scorer Philipp Hofmann hangs over the construction site of the animal park. As a reminder, Hofmann’s contract expires at the end of the season so he is expected to switch to a free transfer. On Monday evening, the ‘Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ)’ reported that Hofmann had signed a two-year contract with VfL Bochum. There has been no confirmation from those involved.
These are probably still not there two days later. Neither at KSC nor at VfL Bochum has the departure been officially confirmed. “It only affects us indirectly, I can’t say anything about that myself,” KSC sporting director Oliver Kreuzer told ka-news.de during Wednesday’s training session.
The ex-professional continues: “Phillip’s contract is about to expire and he can sign anywhere and anytime. I always trust his words and he told me before signing, he tells me personally. This conversation has never happened before.”
Hofmann: “Nothing is decided, but…
When asked if Kreuzer still had hope that Hofmann would extend his contract at Karlsruhe, the sports manager struggled with his words. “You still have hope, but I know he would love to play in the Bundesliga and we still have to deal with an exit.”
Above all, his desire to play in the Bundesliga himself speaks of Hofmann’s farewell. At 29, this may be his last chance to realize this dream with certainty. With 50 goals in 100 games for KSC, he confirmed his abilities – in league two – but over several seasons. Hofmann himself tells a fan after practice: “Nothing is decided yet.”
The 195 centimeter man also confirmed the statement in an interview with ka-news.de. “Everyone knows my goal, that I want to play in the Bundesliga, but nothing is decided yet. Again, there was a lot of speculation and a lot of writing,” said the goalscorer. But one thing is certain: “Yes, I am in contact with Bochum and other clubs. In the coming weeks, everything will be clarified and then confirmed.”
Hofmann will leave the KSC
Hofmann wouldn’t reveal which clubs were involved when asked. According to information from ka-news.de, Mainz 05 and FC Augsburg are also possible targets for Hofmann.
In conversation, striker Oliver Kreuzer and all of KSC then steals the very last hope of remaining in Fan City. “It’s not decided yet, but it goes in the direction of my departure from the club”, explains the striker. If his decision regarding the new employer is certain, he first wishes to inform the KSC.
While the only thing left for the top scorer is to decide where to put his football boots next season, KSC is already looking for a suitable successor. “Of course, we have been dealing with the subject for a long time, but it is very difficult to find something on the market,” says Kreuzer.
Aaron Seydel as successor? ‘Not an uninteresting player’
Kreuzer is looking for a player who fits Hofmann’s profile and who could ideally come to the animal park for a free transfer. “We want to stick to our style of play and the player must also fit into our salary structure,” explains the sporting director. Kreuzer would favor a German-speaking professional, preferably German. “A transfer from abroad always involves a certain risk.”
If you sum up this description, second division connoisseurs find themselves very quickly with Aaron Seydel of SV Darmstadt. The 26-year-old is 1.99m tall, has Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 experience and is said to be free in the summer – like Hofmann. “Of course you meet him quickly and he’s not an uninteresting player, but not the same as Philipp. He’s a different type of player,” concluded Kreuzer.