Cologne –

Cologne’s euro heroes Salih Özcan (23) and Ismail Jakobs (21): Olympic dream or FC future? National coach Stefan Kuntz (58) would like the duo of 1. FC Köln to be with him in Tokyo. The problem: The two newly crowned U21 European champions already have a tournament under their feet this summer and would miss large parts of the FC preparation if they were to participate in the Olympic Games. A dilemma for the players and the club. The EXPRESS tells FC coach Steffen Baumgart (49) how he thinks about it.

  • Salih Özcan and Ismail Jakobs dream of the Olympics
  • FC duo would miss preparation at 1. FC Köln
  • Steffen Baumgart doesn’t put any obstacles in the way of the FC duo

Homemade Salih Özcan wants to assert himself at his home club after thoughts of emigration in the meantime. The Cologne, whose contract expires in a few days, hopes for a new chance under new coach Steffen Baumgart. The talks about a contract extension are now well advanced.

Salih Özcan would miss preparation at 1. FC Köln if he participated in the Olympic Games

The Olympics come at an inopportune time. Because Özcan would miss most of the preparation and the training camp in Donauscheschingen (July 16-25). Baumgart could not get a picture of the midfielder, Özcan would be behind his rivals from the start. Should Germany reach the final, which will take place in Tokyo on August 7, the FC kicker would miss the first round of the DFB Cup, which will take place at the same time.

Ismail Jakobs from 1. FC Köln is also a candidate for the Olympics

My colleague Jakobs could sooner be granted the Tokyo trip. The fast outside could gain important experience and mature further at the Olympic tournament.

But the Erftstadt-based man is considered a sales candidate and could flush important money into the club’s clammy coffers. A job at the Olympics would certainly make sales more difficult, Jakobs would not be available to a potential new club until August, depending on the course of the tournament.

In the next week, successful U21 coach Stefan Kuntz wants to nominate his squad. In mid-July, the plane will go to Asia so that the team can acclimatise for 14 days. “We are waiting for the nomination process to begin,” says sports director Jörg Jakobs (50).

Steffen Baumgart (here on June 2, 2021) starts preparing for the season with 1. FC Köln on July 2.

Managing director colleague Alexander Wehrle (46) adds: “Salih’s contract expires on June 30th. If the player stays with us, we will coordinate this with him. “

Steffen Baumgart doesn’t put any obstacles in the way of Salih Özcan and Ismail Jakobs

But whoever is nominated, trainer Steffen Baumgart has a clear position on a possible Olympic opportunity. “I am of the opinion that if your country calls, then you should not hesitate, but do it. Olympia is an opportunity that a player may only have once – and I’m the last one standing in the way, ”the coach told EXPRESS.

Rhine rival Bayer Leverkusen handles it differently. Florian Wirtz (18) should not compete with Stefan Kuntz’s team in Tokyo if possible.

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“We haven’t made a final decision yet, but we are critical of playing two tournaments in one summer,” said Bayer Sports Director Simon Rolfes, adding: “All of the preparation is lost – and that with a new coach. We have to weigh that up. “

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