ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – Bundesliga rivals Schalke and Wolfsburg are actively monitoring the situation of Hertha Berlin center back John Anthony Brooks, MLSsoccer.com has learned.
According to three unconnected German sources, the pair have thus far been able to draw Hertha into transfer talks over the US international. Attempts by MLSsoccer.com to contact Brooks' agent for comment have thus far been unsuccessful.
The capital crew, who surprisingly hold the third of four Champions League spots in the league table at the winter break, have been trying since last summer to ink Brooks to a contract extension. The 22-year-old defender has a season-and-a-half remaining on his current pact.
This week, two sources told MLSsoccer.com that the club was halting negotiations until spring, when they intend to renew their efforts to extend Brooks' Olympiastadion stay. However, last month, Hertha chairman Michael Preetz penned a column in leading German soccer publication Kicker explaining that they could have their hand forced if talks on a new deal remain unsuccessful.
"As a club, we are dependent on generating transfer fees," admitted Preetz. "For the good of the club, you have to consider selling players such as John Brooks ... when you can't agree on a new contract."
On the season, Brooks has a goal and an assist in 10 Bundesliga outings, plus another goal from his two DfB-Pokal appearances. He is the last American standing in the latter competition, with Hertha slated to visit FC Heidenheim on February 10 to battle for a place in the semifinals.