The go-ahead to play the remainder of the 2019-20 season was only received on Wednesday (6 May), however the certainty this creates allows three clubs to start making plans for next season, with some big decisions.
SV Darmstadt 98 got things started on Thursday by signing four players down to new deals. Three members of their defence – Patrick Herrmann, Immanuel Höhn and skipper Fabian Holland – have signed on until the end of next season, with midfielder Tobias Kempe doing likewise.
Keeping hold of both Kempe and three key defenders is a big boost for Markus Anfang, who will replace Dimitrios Grammozis as head coach in the summer. It appears unlikely, however, that they will be able to keep hold of Dario Dumic, on loan from FC Utrecht. Yannick Stark will also leave, with sporting director Carsten Wehlmann confirming his departure earlier in the week.
SpVgg Greuther Fürth also have some clarity after announcing the futures of seven players on Friday. The biggest surprise is the decision to let go of captain Marco Caliguiri after nine years at the club. He is already 36 though, and in extending with Maximilian Bauer for another two years they have sent a clear signal that they are looking to the future.
The departure of Maximilian Wittek comes as less of a surprise, whilst Maximilian Sauer, who has often struggled when in the team, will also depart in the summer. Goalkeeping duo Sascha Burchert (above), who has had interest from England in the past, and Marius Funk will stay for the next two seasons, whilst David Raum, Wittek’s likely successor at left-back, has extended until 2021.
VfL Bochum have also made their first move by keeping hold of a key senior player. Manuel Riemann may sometimes divide opinions amongst fans, but the goalkeeper is a pivotal figure for the team and has for the most part been in his best form since joining in 2015.
Regardless of which division they are playing in next season though, Thomas Reis and Sebastian Schindzielorz (or most likely their successors in the event of relegation) have a tough job in the summer as they continue to rebuild a side that has hemoraged talent and experience in recent transfer windows.