Rapid bosses have managed to keep a crucial element of the team’s game from walking out and join a top foreign club.
Philipp Schobesberger is one of the league’s dangerous attacking midfielders. In what is considered as Rapid’s return to relevance in Austrian football, the 23-year-old has played an extremely important role. Providing several assists but also scoring goals, the national team star had the chance to leave the Green-Whites in favour of some side in Germany or another prestigious league. According to reports, Schobesberger had a number of different options.
But now Rapid director Fredy Bickel confirmed that Schobesberger’s contract has been extended until 2022, turning the young starlet into one of the club’s best-paid employees. Schobesberger’s agent controversially confirmed that defending champions Red Bull Salzburg signalled interest in signing his top client.
Rapid face Salzburg this Sunday (Allianz Stadion Vienna, 4.30pm). The Bulls beat Europa League opponents Vitoria Guimaraes 3-0 last night after having removed Sturm Graz from the top of the domestic league table on Sunday with a convincing 5-0 home win.
Marco Rose’s team made a name for themselves in the past few years by earning stratospheric transfer sums. After having forked out just 1.5 million Euros for Naby Keita a few years ago, the new leaders of the Austrian Bundesliga received 37 million Euros from RB Leipzig half a year ago. Salzburg earned remarkable sums by allowing further important players like Sadio Mane, Jonathan Soriano and Kevin Kampl to leave.
Stephan Auer meanwhile decided to extend his contract at Rapid. The defender has become an extremely reliable part of the starting eleven regardless whether coach Goran Djuricin nominates him as left-back, right-back or defending midfielder. Auer, 26, joined Rapid – who celebrated a 2-1 away victory against LASK last Saturday – from Austrian Bundesliga rivals Admira in 2015. His new contract expires in three and a half years. “He’s our most underrated player,” Djuricin said.
The Bundesliga after 15 of 36 rounds:
Red Bull Salzburg, 34 points
SK Sturm, 32
SK Rapid, 29
FK Austria, 19
St. Pölten, 4